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The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Ryanair isn’t just an airline; it’s a parable for our greedy times Anne Perkins

Europe’s biggest carrier capitalises on the public’s worst instincts. It exploits us and we protest, but we are complicit

It was Ryanair’s AGM on Thursday and investors at the Dublin get-together seem to have been unusually grumpy. One bolshie shareholder, retired mechanic Brian Graham, even called for “heads to roll”. Two big US pension funds refused to endorse the proposals for senior pay. Others muttered anxiously about “poor disclosure” and executive bonuses. But the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Once it was all over and the smoke had cleared, the share price sat pretty well where it had been at breakfast time.

Michael O’Leary, the man who brings to his airline the kind of embodiment of values that Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley gives to sports clothing sales, claimed he was wearing sackcloth in mortification for the “boo-boo” of running out of pilots. This has led to the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights, inconveniencing 300,000 passengers, news initially announced without letting anyone know which 300,000 passengers’ plans had just been shredded. It was a “fuck-up” with the pilot rotas, O’Leary explained, with that guileless charm that typifies his airline’s relationship with its customers.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 7:13 am

Brigham Young ends 60-year ban on sale of caffeinated drinks on campus

The Mormon church-owned university has scrapped a rule established in the mid-1950s that no caffeinated beverages would be sold on campus

Brigham Young University ended a six-decade ban Thursday on the sale of caffeinated soft drinks on campus, surprising students by posting a picture of a can of Coca-Cola on Twitter and just two words: “It’s happening.”

Related: BYU amends honor code that shamed students who reported sexual assault

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 7:10 am

Ben Jennings on Theresa May's Brexit speech in Florence – cartoon

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 7:10 am

UK banks to check 70m bank accounts in search for illegal immigrants

Exclusive: From January banks will be enrolled in Theresa May’s plans to create ‘hostile environment’ for illegal migrants

Banks and building societies are to carry out immigration checks on 70m current accounts from January in the biggest extension of Theresa May’s plans to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants in Britain, the Guardian has learned.

The Home Office expects to identify 6,000 visa overstayers, failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders facing deportation in the first year of the checks, which are to be carried out quarterly.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 7:00 am

The Guardian view on Catalonia: step back from the brink | Editorial

Madrid has badly mishandled a deliberately provocative referendum

The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, writes in the Guardian that “a de facto state of emergency” has ended Catalan home rule just weeks ahead of a planned referendum on independence. Madrid appears deaf to the argument that its heavy-handed attempts to stop the vote will only ultimately strengthen support for secession. A judge sent in the police to arrest a dozen local officials; the Guardia Civil seized millions of ballot papers; the central finance ministry took over the region’s finances to prevent public money from being used in the vote. All the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has achieved by being so oblivious to public sentiment in Catalonia is to harden opinion in the region and draw thousands onto the streets.

If nothing is done to work towards a compromise, a political train wreck threatens in the EU’s largest southern member state. This situation has been long in the making. A key tipping point came when Spain’s constitutional court in 2010 knocked down parts of a revised “statute of autonomy” – the result of a compromise reached four years earlier between Madrid’s then Socialist prime minister and the then centre-right Catalan nationalists. That was a document which boosted Catalonia’s already impressive levels of self-government. But Mr Rajoy’s conservative People’s party had lambasted the agreement as a dagger aimed at the heart of Spain’s 1978 constitution, and appealed to the constitutional court. Their victory there caused a reaction: the Catalan political leadership shifted towards separatism.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:53 am

Amazon and Facebook keen on Premier League rights, say Manchester United

• Tech companies’ interest will escalate financial boom for top clubs
• Ed Woodward announces record income made by United

The internet giants Amazon and Facebook are likely to bid for Premier League football streaming rights, which will further escalate the huge financial boom for England’s top clubs, the Manchester United vice-chairman has said.

In his quarterly call with bank executives who invest in United’s shares on the New York stock exchange, Ed Woodward said the technology companies were very interested in the last round of rights deals for 2016-19, which the Premier League sold primarily to BSkyB and BT for £8.4bn.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:41 am

Prada is sublime on the catwalk, but financial uptick is still to be felt

Women dominate the decor and the soundtrack in spirited display of defiance by designer Miuccia Prada

It is unfortunate for Prada that, in 2017, being compelling on the catwalk is like being rich in Monopoly. Sublime though the new collection shown in Milan was, with figures showing an 18% decline in net profit, what this brand needs is not applause but cold hard cash. Fashion weeks are now just one part of a huge industry where multi-platform success is essential. E-commerce, social media and partnerships with a ground army of “influencers” all matter as much as the show itself. Prada, one of the last of the luxury houses to embrace the digital age, is paying the price for tardiness.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:40 am

UK debt crisis and the onward march of neoliberalism | Letters

Quantitative easing allowed the wealthy to get out of cash and into assets, writes Martin London; the provisionally passed Ceta deal is TTIP by the back door, says John Airs. Plus letters by David Dodd and Paul Nicolson

The debt crisis Larry Elliott predicts (Borrowed time: Threadneedle Street is right to fear a bubble, 19 September), is the result of our failure to resolve the financial crisis of 2008. The credit crunch demonstrated that western economies were living beyond their means and that there was too much money and too much debt in the system. The required solution was for creditors to give up a considerable portion of their wealth, and return living space to debtors. Significant austerity was unavoidable.

Governments chose quantitative easing instead, which allowed the wealthy to get out of cash and into assets, retaining or regaining any loss caused by the crash. The rest of us had to bear the brunt of austerity: cuts in benefits, the erosion of full-time jobs, the rise of the gig economy and increases in rents. Additional debt, funded by the liquidity of quantitative easing, enabled millions temporarily to retain a semblance of normal living: but the unequal distribution of wealth has not gone away.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:39 am

Trump executive order targets any firm backing trade with North Korea

President says China’s central bank has halted business with North Korea, though China has not confirmed financial embargo

Donald Trump has issued a new executive order by which the US will target any company or institution financing trade with North Korea and claimed that China’s banking system had also shut down business with the country.

Reuters news agency reported earlier in the day that China’s central bank had ordered financial institutions to implement UN sanctions rigorously after frequent complaints from Washington that Beijing was leaving open too many loopholes.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:37 am

There is irony in Diego Costa’s deal with Atlético but Chelsea saw the best of him | Dominic Fifield

In their last league game, Antonio Conte’s side missed how the forward would have driven Arsenal to distraction and the 28-year-old will depart Stamford Bridge having more than played his part in the successes

There is an irony that Diego Costa’s tortuous departure from Chelsea should be finalised, pending the results of a stringent medical, just after a fixture when his absence had been so keenly felt.

Not the Champions League stroll beyond Qarabag or even the midweek saunter past Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup. But, last Sunday, Arsenal ventured across the capital and earned a point, with Shkodran Mustafi, in most people’s eyes, emerging from the stalemate as man of the match. Even accepting that the centre-half is a Germany international and clearly a player of pedigree, it is hard to envisage he would have been quite so unruffled had Costa lined up for the hosts at Stamford Bridge.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:37 am

Hinkley Point C: fresh strike threat over pay dispute

Nuclear plant construction facing further delays as unions declare plans to ballot civil engineers in row over bonuses

The UK’s first new nuclear power plant for 20 years could be delayed again, after trade unions for construction staff working on the £20bn Hinkley Point C project announced a ballot for strike action in a dispute over pay.

More than 95% of members balloted by GMB and Unite rejected a pay increase offered by the French energy company EDF and its contractor Bylor after months of discussions.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:26 am

China's credit rating cut to A+ by S&P over rising debt fears

Ratings agency cites concerns over financial and economic risk as country’s total debt hits $28tn

China’s credit rating has been downgraded by Standard & Poor’s amid fears rising debts are adding to economic and financial risks.

The agency lowered China’s sovereign rating by one notch to A+ from AA-, putting it in the same category as countries such as the US and Austria. This is the second downgrade from a major ratings agency for Beijing this year and comes at an awkward time before next month’s Communist party congress.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:25 am

Entire towns in Mexico flattened as scale of earthquake damage emerges

Thousands of left homeless in towns and communities outside Mexico City as official rescue and relief efforts struggle to cope with the widespread destruction

Hopes that rescuers will find more survivors trapped beneath collapsed buildings in central Mexico were fading on Thursday, as the scale of the devastation wreaked by the country’s deadliest earthquake for a generation started to become clear.

At least 250 people died and 1,900 were injured in the 7.1 magnitude quake which struck Mexico on Tuesday – 32 years to the day after the country’s deadliest earthquake killed thousands and laid waste to the capital city. The death toll will certainly rise as rescue workers continue to search the precarious ruins amid the threat of aftershocks, collapsing rubble and gas leaks.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:17 am

Puerto Rico battered by Hurricane Maria: 'Devastation – it's everywhere'

After hours of hurricane-force winds and torrential rain, Puerto Ricans emerged from hurricane shelters on Thursday morning to find that their island was still under threat from landslides, flash floods and crippled water and electricity systems.

Related: British Virgin Islands brave two storms in two weeks: 'Maria destroyed most of what was left'

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:06 am

An impossible choice: the Nauru refugee forced to choose between family and freedom

As the first of the refugees held in Australia’s offshore detention are accepted by the US, Arash faces the prospect of being separated from his loved ones forever

Arash has never held, never laid eyes on, his infant daughter.

And he fears he may never know her, and may be forced to choose between his child and ever being free.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:00 am

New Zealand election: polls give Bill English reasons to be cheerful despite 'Jacinda effect'

Public opinion seems to be swinging back to the PM against Labour’s charismatic but untested Jacinda Ardern before voting day on Saturday

Clothed in a khaki oilskin to protect him from a furious downpour, Bill English has turned up at the suburban Benedict’s cafe in Maungaraki on the outskirts of Wellington for chitchat and a coffee.

There are hand-knitted jumpers for sale and smudgy prints on the wall, and the New Zealand prime minister orders a cappuccino before moving through the assembled supporters – children, mothers and the over-60s, mostly, this weekday morning.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 6:00 am

William G Stewart, host of 15 to 1, dies aged 84

Presenter of ‘properly tough’ Channel 4 quiz was also a producer and director of TV sitcoms and other gameshows

William G Stewart, the longtime host of the popular TV quiz show 15 to 1, has died aged 84.

Stewart, a producer and director of TV sitcoms and gameshows who began his television career behind the camera, presented the Channel 4 show from 1988 to 2003.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:55 am

County cricket: Finn takes 8-79 in Middlesex win, Surrey v Somerset – as it happened

Right, time to sign off. Thank you for your company and great to see so many of you earlier. Here’s the scores on the doors.

Division One:

And stumps at Headingley! Yorkshire lose Brathwaite last ball of the day and are

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:51 am

Facebook strategist rejects PM's claim over extremist material

Counter-terrorism expert says that, contrary to Theresa May’s assertion, technology companies are treating the problem of terrorist content seriously

Facebook’s senior counter-terrorism strategist has dismissed Theresa May’s demand that the company should go “further and faster” to remove material created by terrorists and their supporters, describing the claim that it does not do enough as unhelpful.

Artificial intelligence programs are being created to identify such material, and hundreds of people are employed to search for content that should be removed, said Brian Fishman, who manages the company’s global counter-terrorism policy.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:49 am

Eddie Jones to name most of his Lions in England squad for autumn series

• England coach’s decision to reignite debate over player welfare
• Exeter’s Rob Baxter says overworked players claim is ‘codswallop’

Eddie Jones will on Friday reignite the debate over player welfare by naming the vast majority of his British & Irish Lions stars in a 33-man England squad for next week’s training camp in Oxford. Jones had indicated he might rest some Lions for the autumn series but it is now understood most will be involved at some stage during November.

Virtually all the Premiership-based Lions are back in action for their clubs and key men such as Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, who played prominent roles in the summer drawn series against New Zealand, will have precious little scope for a lengthy break next year. England are due to play a best-of-three series in South Africa in June and four further autumn Tests at Twickenham in the buildup to the 2019 World Cup.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:47 am

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary may be flying by the seat of his pants in row with pilots | Nils Pratley

It makes doubtful sense for Michael O’Leary to patronise and alienate his pilots, who may get their own back by joining a union

Funnily enough, Michael O’Leary did not preach a gospel of peace, love and goodwill to all pilots at Thursday’s annual meeting. Even by his standards the Ryanair chief executive’s belligerence was extraordinary.

Pilots do not have a difficult job, shareholders were told. Some are “precious about themselves” and “full of their own self-importance”. To manage Ryanair’s crisis over cancelled flights, O’Leary may force a few to re-arrange their own holidays. And, while he may have a few incentives in his back pocket, “if pilots misbehave, that will be the end of the goodies”.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:43 am

Briton could face Dubai jail term for finger gesture

Jamil Ahmed Mukadam, 23, from Leicester, could be sentenced to six months under the emirate’s strict laws

A British IT consultant is stuck in Dubai facing a charge of offensive behaviour after sticking his finger up to a driver while on holiday in the oil-rich state.

Jamil Ahmed Mukadam is now expecting a court date and if convicted faces up to six months in jail, according to his legal advisers, after being detained under the emirate’s strict federal laws.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:33 am

Sir Teddy Taylor obituary

Conservative MP and Europhobe whose record of dissent confined him to the backbenches for most of his long parliamentary career

The former Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor, who has died aged 80, was not just a Eurosceptic but a Europhobe; almost a single-issue politician defined by his passionate and lifelong opposition to the European Union. Admirers warmed to his eloquent, quickfire attacks on the European project, but to others he seemed obsessive, and in 1996 he admitted: “I am the biggest Euro-bore there ever was.” Nonetheless, few doubted his courage or the sincerity of his views, which did not help his career prospects.

Having entered the House of Commons in 1964, Taylor was given a junior post in Edward Heath’s government, but resigned in 1971 when Heath applied for entry to the European Economic Community. That act set the stage for his later rebellions over contributions to the EEC budget in 1985, the Single European Act in 1986, entry to the European exchange rate mechanism in October 1990 and the Maastricht treaty during 1992-93.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:28 am

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour is now the mainstream, with Tories in disarray

Exclusive: Labour leader says his party goes into its conference preparing for another election and with plans to unseat several ministers

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of presiding over “a government in disarray” and declared that the Labour party, revitalised under his leadership, now represents the mainstream of British politics.

Speaking before his party’s first conference since the Conservatives lost their majority, Corbyn said Boris Johnson’s recent Brexit intervention demonstrated that the prime minister had surrendered control of her cabinet.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:23 am

Deliveroo boss Will Shu gives himself 22.5% rise amid battle over riders' pay

Will Shu hikes salary to £125,000 a year as dispute over workers’ status continues and losses mount at the food delivery company

Will Shu, the boss of Deliveroo, handed himself a 22.5% pay rise last year at the same time as the company spent more than £1.5m on legal fees, partly because of the food delivery firm’s battle over pay and conditions for its thousands of couriers.

Shu, a former investment banker who set up Deliveroo from his London flat in 2013, increased his salary to £124,999 and handed out close to £4.5m in share bonuses to directors and hundreds of other head office staff, despite a 300%-plus widening in losses.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:21 am

Martin Glenn’s next step after sacking Mark Sampson should be to resign | Barney Ronay

The holes in the FA’s version of events make a case for its chief executive to stand down on the Lady Bracknell principle of administrative bungling

The FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, has acted decisively – if confusingly and belatedly – in dismissing Mark Sampson from his post as the manager of the England women’s team.

Glenn’s next step should be to offer his own resignation. Again this should be done promptly, and with an acceptance the public expects more from the governing body of its national sport than bungled attempts at spin and reputation management, or moral principles that appear to bend with the weather vane of bad publicity.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 5:06 am

Lift up your hearts for Hillsong, the church that’s made a believer out of Bieber

It’s huge, it’s hip, it’s Pentecostal – and it’s snapping up celebrity worshippers as if the world depended on it, headed by its biggest convert, Justin Bieber

Ever on the lookout for the perfect facility to address my spiritual education and showbiz needs – and not in that order – I am GRIPPED by news of the Hillsong church in America’s Los Angeles. Hillsong is a Pentecostal mega-church, whose first branch was in Australia in some kind of corrugated-iron warehouse. So far, so Lady Marchmain.

I’m kidding, of course – the aesthetic at Hillsong is far from popish, with services consisting of Christian rock music in concert-like spaces, attended by young dressed-down people who then leave Yelp reviews about how much awesome Holy Spirit was there, and how good the coffee was and so on. We’ll boggle at some of those in due course.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:53 am

Catalan leader accuses Spain of violating rights in referendum row

Spanish government acting ‘beyond the limits of a respectable democracy’ but vote will go ahead, says Carles Puigdemont

Carles Puigdemont: Spain’s attempt to block Catalonia’s referendum is a violation of our basic rights

The regional president of Catalonia has accused the Spanish government of acting “beyond the limits of a respectable democracy” and violating fundamental rights as it strives to prevent an independence referendum from being held in 10 days’ time.

Related: Spain’s attempt to block Catalonia’s referendum is a violation of our basic rights | Carles Puigdemont

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:51 am

David Lappartient reaps wind of change blowing through cycling | William Fotheringham

French campaigner called a political machine benefits from anti-British backlash after scandals to easily defeat Brian Cookson in UCI presidential election

“A political machine,” wrote the respected French journalist Jean-François Quénet of his fellow countryman David Lappartient, a man who, it seems, has never lost an election, rising seamlessly through French local and two-wheeled politics to simultaneously hold positions of power in the Morbihan region of Brittany and world cycling. His victory over the incumbent Brian Cookson in the UCI presidential election on Thursday is, just the latest in a long list of political triumphs.

However, the scale by which he drubbed the Lancastrian – 37 votes to eight – points to a massive backlash against the former British Cycling head, who was elected in 2013 on a wave of disgust against the previous administration amid hopes of renewal. At the time Cookson came across as the technocrat who was needed to restore calm, order and integrity, but he has come under pressure from many sides over issues as diverse as the World Tour calendar, the UCI’s campaign against technological fraud and women’s racing. All of these were buttons Lappartient could press.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:46 am

Owner of house where 35 men are living threatens to sue Brent council

Sunil Hathi says he is aggrieved that the council called him a rogue landlord and that he originally rented the house to three people

The owner of a three-bedroom house in north-west London where 35 men are living in rooms full of mattresses has insisted he had no idea of the conditions at the property and threatened to take legal action against the council for calling him a rogue landlord.

Brent council raided the property on Winchester Avenue, Queensbury, after complaints from neighbours. Mattresses were found wall to wall in all of the rooms except the bathrooms.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:45 am

Parsons Green bombing: police release 21-year-old man

Man, thought to be Yahyah Farroukh, released as officers search Thornton Heath house after arrest of teenager

A 21-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the Parsons Green terrorist attack has been released from custody with no further action, Scotland Yard has said.

The man – understood to be Yahyah Farroukh, who was arrested in Hounslow on Saturday – was released as police were searching a property in south London after arresting a sixth person in connection with the tube bombing.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:45 am

Kuldeep Yadav hat-trick inspires India to 50-run win over Australia in second ODI

• India 252 (Kholi 92); Australia 202 (Stoinis 62*)
• Yadav picks off Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins

Australia have gone 2-0 down in their one-day international series against India after collapsing in Kolkata.

Set 253 for victory, the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 117 runs with a hat-trick to left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav sealing Thursday’s match at Eden Gardens.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:42 am

World's richest woman Liliane Bettencourt dies aged 94

Daughter announces death of heir to French L’Oreal empire, who was world’s 14th richest person

Liliane Bettencourt, heir to the French L’Oreal hairspray empire and the world’s wealthiest woman, who was at the centre of a long-running French courtroom saga over alleged hangers-on who took advantage of her frailty to elicit money and gifts, has died aged 94.

Bettencourt, whose net worth was estimated at about €33bn (£29bn) this year, was the face of one of France’s biggest cosmetics conglomerates and had once captured the public’s imagination as the nation’s poor little rich girl.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:39 am

Tech's push to teach coding isn't about kids' success – it's about cutting wages

Today’s hi-tech wages threaten Silicon Valley’s bottom line. What better way to drive down coders’ pay than by investing in a new generation of cheap labor?

This month, millions of children returned to school. This year, an unprecedented number of them will learn to code.

Computer science courses for children have proliferated rapidly in the past few years. A 2016 Gallup report found that 40% of American schools now offer coding classes – up from only 25% a few years ago. New York, with the largest public school system in the country, has pledged to offer computer science to all 1.1 million students by 2025. Los Angeles, with the second largest, plans to do the same by 2020. And Chicago, the fourth largest, has gone further, promising to make computer science a high school graduation requirement by 2018.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:33 am

Caught napping: snoozing jellyfish prove a brain isn't necessary for sleep

Scientists made the discovery by observing the primitive jellyfish Cassiopea, which has no central nervous system

Snoozing jellyfish have confirmed that a brain is not necessary for sleep.

Scientists made the discovery after observing a primitive jellyfish called Cassiopea that lives upside down on the sea floor and lacks any kind of central nervous system.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:31 am

Bankrupt Lehman Brothers profits from Formula One sale

The collapsed bank will sell its stake in Nasdaq-listed auto racing empire, making a hefty $1.5bn from a $300m investment

Creditors of Lehman Brothers are on track for a turbocharged windfall after the collapsed bank announced it is selling its stake in Nasdaq-listed Formula One auto racing, giving it a payout of $1.5bn from a $300m investment.

The offering also brings the chequered flag down on former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone’s time as a shareholder. The billionaire business magnate is offloading his remaining stake for $20m. Ecclestone first took over the wheel of F1 40 years ago and transformed it from being an amateur hobby into a race series which had revenue of $1.8bn last year.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:31 am

American Vandal review – Netflix sends itself up with a four-hour penis joke

The streaming channel parodies one of its most bankable genres, the true-crime doc, with an amateur investigator on the trail of a genital-obsessed street artist

What is it? The moment that Netflix ate itself.

Why you’ll love it: Here’s a theory: media outlets that are comfortable mocking themselves are the easiest ones to love. The BBC can air a series as lacerating as W1A – set inside the actual BBC HQ, full of BBC middle-managers drowning in pointless BBC bureaucracy – and people read it as a sign of self-confidence. Same with NBC and 30 Rock. Now Netflix has released American Vandal, mercilessly lampooning one of its most identifiable genres – the long-form, true-crime documentary – in such a way that it forces you to begrudgingly respect the service’s commissioning editors.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:27 am

It’s lit! How film finally learned to light black skin

In lighting, makeup and camera calibration, cinema has pandered to white skin for decades. Now, a new generation of film-makers are keen to ensure people of colour look as good on screen as they should

Insecure, the HBO series currently in its terrific second season (#TeamMolly), has been garnering attention since its pilot for its refreshing look at the lives of a small group of black women in Los Angeles. Broadcast in the same slot as its precursor Girls, which showed women as their “real” messy selves, and before that Sex and the City, a fantasia of skipping round New York in Manolos, Insecure sits somewhere between the two. Its storylines are all too real, but it looks stylish and glamorous.

Previous incarnations of black characters on television have mainly been overlit sitcoms or overly gloomy slices of realism. Insecure is neither – and its actors look like bonafide movie stars.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:26 am

Goop on loop: Gwyneth Paltrow has her sights on a ‘radical wellness’ TV show

The purveyor of $956 loo roll wants to get out ‘into the field’ and bring the spirit of her lifestyle brand onto our television sets

Always keen to see new applications of the endtimes word “wellness”, Lost in Showbiz is drawn to an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth is discussing Goop, her lifestyle brand that has $956 loo roll on its Christmas gift list and advocates health treatments that even Shirley MacLaine might regard as preposterously fringe.

This week’s big news is that Gwyneth is eyeing an expansion into TV. “What we are thinking of doing,” she tells the Hollywood Reporter, “is a TV show with the working title The Radical Wellness Show.” This would see Gwyneth do what she calls “going into the field”, and talking to doctors and scientists. Some real, presumably, and some the sort of doctors who pop up on Goop to tell you to cleanse your body in goat’s milk to ward off parasites. Anyhow, the example given by Gwyneth is “people in the crisis in Flint, Michigan, where there is something to uncover and confront about wellness”.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:21 am

Brooklyn nein, nein – Becks Jr tells his ‘fangirl’ classmates to chill out

David and Victoria’s eldest is settling in at art school in New York, where he’s only too happy to help his peers deal with his fame and genius

Focus, focus, because it’s time to check in with the publicity arm of Brooklyn Beckham, the firstborn son of David and Victoria, and a photographer in … in his own right, would you say?

Arguably not. Let’s settle on “in his own lunchtime”, and proceed accordingly. As you may recall, Brooklyn recently published a coffee-table book of his own photography, which dispensed with photographic cliches such as having light on one’s subject, and featured captions such as: “I like this picture – it’s out of focus but you can tell there’s a lot going on”. Now Brooklyn has started at art school in New York, and is consequently fitting in book signings and promotional interviews with his studies. Last week, New York magazine’s The Cut website interviewed him before his event at an Urban Outfitters in Williamsburg, and found the young student reflecting on his status.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:21 am

Sean Spicer says he didn't 'knowingly' lie to American public

Asked by Good Morning America if he’d ever lied from the podium, Trump’s former press secretary said ‘I don’t think so’ – but admitted he’d ‘made mistakes’

Sean Spicer, who became notorious as Donald Trump’s mouthpiece, insisted on Thursday that he did not “knowingly” lie to the American people from the White House podium.

The combative Spicer claimed that Trump’s inauguration drew a record crowd, repeated the president’s groundless claim that millions of people voted illegally, and offered an explanation for FBI director James Comey’s dismissal that Trump quickly contradicted.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:06 am

Pregabalin, known as 'new valium', to be made class C drug after deaths

Prescription drug is handed out too readily and used recreationally, say doctors, with 111 deaths linked to it last year

A prescription drug described as the “new valium” is to be classified as a class C controlled substance after it was linked to a growing number of UK deaths.

Pregabalin – a substance used to treat nerve pain, epilepsy and anxiety – is increasingly being handed out too readily and being used recreationally, according to doctors and pharmacists. They say that when it is mixed with other substances it can lead to overdose. Deaths connected to pregabalin have risen from four in 2012 to 111 last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:06 am

Made for walking: 50 boots for autumn – in pictures

From sock boots and buckles to bows and colour block heels, this season’s boots will soften the blow of leaving summer’s sandals behind

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:05 am

Organic wines that won’t upset your wallet or your tastebuds

The problem with a lot of organic wines, especially at the cheaper end of the market, is that they’re so underwhelming it can be hard to find a decent one

I seem to have spent most of this month dithering over whether or not to devote another article to organic wines. It’s been dubbed Organic September, so I know I ought to, but the problem is, so many organic wines, particularly the cheaper ones, are underwhelming.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 4:00 am

Farage, Johnson, Cummings – the Brexiters are fleeing May’s sinking ship | Ian Birrell

Her Florence speech will struggle to restore credibility against a tide of self-serving rightwing criticism

Theresa May has looked out of her depth since she became prime minister. She has blown her majority, achieved nothing beyond clinging to power, and remains in post only because of a paucity of alternatives in her divided party. So a disunited country has a terrifyingly weak leader as it confronts its biggest challenge since the second world war. Tomorrow she must try to restore her credibility, so shattered both at home and abroad, with a speech that finally proves she has a precise plan for Brexit.

When she stands up in Florence – a city that was once a leading financial centre – she has to find words to unite her feuding party, silence fanatics on the right, soothe the concerns of business and soften the view across Europe that her government still has little idea how to seal Brexit. She needs to shift from shallow slogans that shroud this debate and detail a clear vision for departure that embraces transitional arrangements and future trading relationships.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:47 am

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham denies he is set to switch allegiances to Nigeria

• Nigeria had claimed striker on loan at Swansea has ‘begun process’ with Fifa
• Abraham says he remains committed to England

Tammy Abraham has denied reports that he is set to switch international allegiances to Nigeria in a bid to play at next year’s World Cup and insisted he remains committed to England.

The Chelsea striker, who is on a season-long loan to Swansea, played for England at this summer’s European Under-21 Championships in Poland but remains eligible for the Super Eagles through his parents.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:45 am

Andre Ward, boxing's pound-for-pound world No1, announces shock retirement

Andre Ward, the unified light heavyweight champion widely recognized as the world’s top pound-for-pound boxer, announced his retirement from the sport on Thursday.

The Olympic champion attributed a physical toll and waning desire to his decision to walk away at the relatively young age of 33.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:43 am

Isle of Dogs: watch the trailer for Wes Anderson's dystopian canine epic

Set in a future Japan where dogs have been banished to an island of garbage, Anderson’s animated film features the voice work of Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Yoko Ono

The first trailer for Wes Anderson’s new animation Isle of Dogs has been revealed.

Set in a dystopian future Japan where dogs have been banished to a island made of garbage, following the outbreak of canine flu, Isle of Dogs follows a young boy’s odyssey to find his lost pet. The film utilises the same stop-motion animation seen in Anderson’s 2009 Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr Fox and features a gargantuan voice cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Yoko Ono.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:41 am

Theresa May can’t outsource counter-terrorism to Silicon Valley | Alia Brahimi

Will a reduction of extremist content online really reduce the terror threat while catastrophic conditions persist in Syria, Iraq and Libya?

Theresa May called on technology companies to go “further and faster” in taking down extremist content at the UN on Wednesday. “Ultimately it is not just the terrorists themselves who we need to defeat,” the British prime minister said. “It is the extremist ideologies that fuel them.”

The proliferation of extremist material online is a significant problem that we need to challenge. However, May’s remarks are based on the common yet misguided assumption that extreme ideological material, and its availability on the internet, is what drives terrorism.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:38 am

Tate Modern to host its first ever Picasso exhibition

Show focusing on one year - 1932 - will bring together three paintings of reclining nudes based on artist’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter

Three reclining nudes, inspired by one of Picasso’s most famous lovers, Marie-Thérèse Walter, are to be reunited for the first time in 85 years in an exhibition at Tate Modern.

The three paintings, which were described by Tate Modern director Frances Morris as “sensual, seductive and beautiful”, will be the centrepiece of the gallery’s first Picasso show, which will focus on just one formative year of the artist’s life – 1932.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:37 am

Late-night TV: 'Republicans have 10 days to overhaul healthcare – or everybody lives!'

Comics discussed the Republicans’ race against time to try to repeal Obamacare, and chief of staff John Kelly’s efforts to streamline Trump’s White House

Late-night hosts on Wednesday addressed the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, as well as chief of staff John Kelly’s attempts to control who can and can’t enter the Oval Office.

“This week in Washington DC, the thinkable happened,” began Stephen Colbert. “Republicans are trying to repeal and replace Obamacare again. This is beyond beating a dead horse. This is getting damn close to bestiality, OK? I hope that horse has a safe word.”

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:36 am

EU tells Britain to 'settle the accounts' and speed up Brexit progress

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier says he asks why there is still major uncertainty over UK’s approach on key issues

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has issued a fresh warning that Britain must “settle the accounts” and speed up the pace of negotiations if it wants a free trade deal when it leaves the bloc.

Related: Article 127: the obscure clause that could deliver a soft Brexit | Jonathan Lis

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:30 am

Mark Sampson sacked and the Carabao Cup – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden and co look at the big stories of the week, plus the midweek action, via Rio Ferdinand getting in the ring and a painful Spurs song

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

A wild Max Rushden appears to talk about everything that’s happened in football since the last show, along with Barry Glendenning, Andy Brassell and Priya Ramesh.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:28 am

No laughing matter: Cameroon students face 10 years in jail for Boko Haram joke

Rights groups demand release of three students whose jovial text message exchange turned sour when teacher confiscated phone and contacted police

Human rights groups are calling for the immediate release of three students given 10-year jail sentences in Cameroon for sharing a joke via text about Boko Haram.

An appeal hearing was due to begin on Thursday in the capital, Yaoundé, but has been postponed until 19 October. The students were found guilty of “non-denunciation of terrorism acts” by a military court on 2 November last year.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:28 am

The future is radio: why fan favorite Futurama moved to audio-only

As the animated comedy briefly reincarnates as an old-fashioned radio play, showrunner David X Cohen talks about what the future of the future might be

Good news, everyone: Futurama just won’t stay dead. The beloved, much-canceled sci-fi cartoon created by Simpsons auteur Matt Groening has yet another lease on life, this time in the form of a 42-minute podcast, styled like an old-fashioned radio drama. The vintage format is in keeping with the show’s own aesthetic, a harebrained collision of every possible sci-fi trope from Asimov to Zelazny. At its most basic, Futurama is a workplace comedy about a naif from the turn of the century who goes to work for a package delivery service a thousand years in the future; but within that already absurd framework, the show manages to explore every corner of sci-fi lore.

Related: Firefly to Futurama: the cancelled TV shows you are still angry about

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:26 am

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Colin Firth on the superspy comedy sequel – video

The second Kingsman film sees the dapper British secret agents go up against American supervillain Poppy Adams, played by Julianne Moore, with the help of Statesman, their US equivalent. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is out now in the UK, and is released on 21 September in Australia and 22 September in the US.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:25 am

England v West Indies: rain forces abandonment of second ODI – as it happened

Only 2.2 overs were possible at Trent Bridge before heavy rain forced a frustrating washout

The umpires have accepted the inevitable and called the game off. I’m sure you’ll agree that this has been a triumph for all concerned. Thanks for your company, bye!

And Haseeb Hameed has suffered another broken finger, which presumably ends his hopes of being in the Ashes squad. That’s a blessing, I think, even if his poppadom fingers are a concern.

Related: India v Australia: second one-day international – live!

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:21 am

Two in five European Muslims have felt discriminated against – survey

Study for EU’s fundamental rights agency finds 30% say they have been insulted and 2% physically assaulted in past 12 months

Discrimination against Europe’s Muslims is increasing, with two in five (40%) saying they have faced unfair treatment when job- or house-hunting or accessing public services such as education or healthcare, according to the first report of its kind in a decade.

Nearly 30% of respondents in a survey said they had been insulted or called names and 2% had been physically assaulted in the previous 12 months.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:20 am

Why I’m glad no one wants to call their baby Nigel any more | Nigel Planer

It was never a cool name, even before Farage helped consign it to the dustbin of history. It deserves to be no-platformed

It’s kind of uplifting to find that in the last year, no one in the UK has named their child Nigel. This is possibly a first. There are plenty of baby Jeremys and a small increase in Borises. But no Nigels at all. We are looking at a whole Nigel-free generation. We Nigels are becoming extinct. Which is a good thing – it’s always been near the top of the list of crap names to give your kid, along with Cecil, Jolyon and Leslie.

But this year is significant because it’s the first time ever there are no little Nigels. None. It’s clear what’s happened – fed-up with certain radio and TV stations, with Twitter and with most of the print papers giving our currently most famous Nigel oxygen, parents have taken the matter into their own hands. The name has been no-platformed, it’s no longer a safe place.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:08 am

Borg vs McEnroe’s Stellan Skarsgård: ‘I’ve been changing diapers for 40 years’

He’s both one of Sweden’s most prolific actors and the father of eight kids – including actors Alexander and Bill. So it’s no surprise that – despite starring in the nail-biting tennis drama – he doesn’t have much time for sport

It must be difficult to get entirely swept up in the magic of the movies when you are the man who once changed Pennywise’s nappies. This is the strange position that actor Stellan Skarsgård finds himself in, as he promotes his new film, Borg vs McEnroe, while his 27-year-old son, Bill Skarsgård, is receiving rave reviews for playing the demonic clown in a new adaptation of Stephen King’s It while his eldest son, Alexander, is about to win an Emmy for his role in Big Little Lies. “I was happy when he was doing It because he had so much fun, and that’s where the joy was really,” says Skarsgård senior, frowning thoughtfully out of the hotel room window, as if searching for the right words amid the rooftop air vents. “It’s also kind of ridiculous, all of it, isn’t it? On Sunday, Alexander goes up for the Emmy … It’s kind of silly, isn’t it?”

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 3:00 am

Nascar's Danica Patrick drove the lonely road to a feminist legacy

Her career may be near the finish line, but the trailblazing driver will leave behind a unique legacy as an instrument of male and female fantasy

The Hollywood treatment of the Danica Patrick story hasn’t hit theaters yet. But please believe: it’s coming. Maybe in a year. Maybe in 30. Either way, the creative license is going to be off the charts.

It’s not hard to imagine the Danica character, played by a Mara sister or similar “type”, shaving her head or adding bass to her voice or insisting her rival drivers call her “Dan Patrick”. The idea of a woman race car driver – and inside the southern fried, patriarchal world of Nascar of all places – requires so much suspension of disbelief, after all. The most palatable argument for it isn’t the truth. It’s another version of Disney’s Mulan, but with a fiery race car in place of a dragon.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:57 am

It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain – the margins are brutal | Liam Rosenior

One bad decision can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and lacerate a team’s confidence but lessons can be learned from the scars

Have you ever gone out on a Friday night full of excitement and expectation – relishing everything that’s ahead of you – only to find yourself full of guilt and remorse on Saturday morning? Well, what happened at Bournemouth last weekend was worse than a night out where I said the wrong thing.

The game at the Vitality Stadium was one we badly wanted to win and we were 1-0 up with 20 minutes to go. We were cruising. The team performance was good and the feeling on the pitch was that we were heading towards our first-ever Premier League away win.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:55 am

Irish border data underlines huge task facing Brexit negotiators

Official analysis shows scale of potential disruption from hard border, finding there were more than 110m crossings last year

The scale of the difficulties facing Brexit negotiators in disentangling the border between Britain and Ireland has been highlighted by new data showing there were more than 110m border crossings between the two last year.

An official analysis by British and Irish statisticians found there were an estimated 375,900 Irish-born people living in the UK and 277,200 UK-born people living in Ireland.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:53 am

Jürgen Klopp backs Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain despite dismal display

• Liverpool manager says criticism of £35m signing is premature
• ‘The way people are talking it’s like we’re the worst team in the country’

Jürgen Klopp remains convinced of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ability despite the dismal performance by Liverpool’s £35m signing in his first start at Leicester.

Oxlade-Chamberlain missed a chance early on and seemed nervous and error-prone thereafter, but Klopp felt his performance was not as bad as some critics have suggested.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:50 am

Protests planned at Amsterdam urinals over lack of women's toilets

Case of woman caught urinating in public who was told by judge she should have used men’s facilities sparks outrage

Protests are being planned at urinals across Amsterdam over the lack of female public toilet facilities after a judge criticised a woman for not using public male toilets after getting caught short on the streets of the city.

Geerte Piening, 23, was fined after she asked her friends to cover for her as she urinated off a street on a night out in Amsterdam’s Leidseplein district.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:49 am

Tell us about the bad habits you've broken and how it's changed you

Whether you overspend, snack too much or lose yourself in social media, we’d like to know about the bad habits you’ve given up and what it meant to you

October starts next week and for some it’s Stoptober, the month to try and give up smoking. Others stop drinking alcohol in the new year for Dry January. We’d like to hear about the bad habits you’ve given up and what it meant to you to break them.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:38 am

A new cycling law won't make roads safer and could postpone laws that could | Peter Walker

Of the about 400 pedestrians killed a year in the UK an average of just two are hit by a bike. Enforcing speeding limits on the other hand could help prevent 250 deaths

So there is to be an “urgent” review into whether the law should be changed to target dangerous cycling. This follows a campaign by Matt Briggs, whose wife, Kim, was killed when she was struck by a bike ridden by the now-jailed Charlie Alliston.

The first thing to stress is that I understand completely why Matt Briggs feels the way he does. I’ve talked to him, and appreciate why charging Alliston under an 1861 law was unwieldy and caused long delays. Briggs is a thoughtful, intelligent man and I wish him well.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:35 am

UK army instructors in court over claims they physically abused teen recruits

Ten defendants deny charges of ill-treatment and battery of 12 recruits at Army Foundation College in Harrogate

Ten army instructors have appeared in court accused of physically abusing teenage recruits at a military college.

The non-commissioned officers face a total of 29 charges – 23 of ill-treatment and six of battery – relating to events said to have taken place over a nine-day period in the summer of 2014.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:34 am

Canadian mining firm withdraws threat to quit Greece amid protests

Eldorado Gold says progress has been made with government over issue of permits as miners demonstrate in Athens

Greece’s biggest foreign investor has withdrawn its threat to pull out of the country in a dispute with the government over mining permits, as miners protested in Athens fearing job losses.

George Burns, chief executive of the Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold, said enough accommodation had been reached over the issue of outstanding permits to allow “constructive talks” with the government over its future in the country.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:33 am

What does Google want with HTC's smartphone business?

Google is acquiring a $1bn chunk of HTC’s smartphone arm, including 2,000 employees and access to intellectual property, as it bets big on hardware

Google has announced it’s acquiring a $1.1bn chunk of HTC’s smartphone business, and with it providing the once leading Taiwanese phone brand a much needed lifeline. But what does Google want with part of a smartphone business?

Google isn’t buying the whole of HTC, just a relatively large part of the Taipei-based company’s smartphone business and not its Vive virtual reality headset business. Google gains half of HTC’s research and development team – about 2,000 people – and a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property, allowing it to take advantage of some of HTC’s advances in smartphone technology.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:31 am

On Body and Soul review – bizarre and brutal tale of lovers in the slaughterhouse

In this strange, unsettling romance, a Hungarian abattoir provides the backdrop for an affair between two workers that exists only when they sleep

On Body and Soul is an urban pastoral. It’s a love story that unfolds both in a secret inner dreamscape and an outer world of ostensible normality – which is actually far more comically irrational. This duality could be the one hinted at in the title. But which is body and which soul? Where do we assume the spirituality and physicality are located? It’s not entirely clear.

The Hungarian film-maker Ildikó Enyedi won the Golden Bear in Berlin this year for this film, perhaps her most notable success since winning the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 1989 for My Twentieth Century, about identical twin sisters heading for an appointment with destiny and modernity aboard the Orient Express. This movie has the same playfully unexpected sensuality that My Twentieth Century was praised for. Its eroticism has something of the Czech author Milan Kundera.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:30 am

Drax boss Dorothy Thompson to step down after 12 years

Will Gardiner, the group’s chief financial officer, will take over in January as company focuses on gas, biomass and battery power

The long-serving chief executive of the UK’s biggest power station is stepping down, as the North Yorkshire-based business continues its pursuit of a future beyond coal.

Drax Group’s Dorothy Thompson will be succeeded by Will Gardiner, currently the chief financial officer, who will take over in January at a time when the company is eyeing a mix of gas, biomass and battery power to replace coal.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:08 am

Larry David to Lisa Simpson – life lessons from TV's top role models

From eight-year-old Mensa members to smeghead slobs and doll’s-house-loving detectives, here are the small-screen idols who have taught us everything

There aren’t many moments in Curb Your Enthusiasm when Larry David could be described as heroic. Two stand out though. There’s the time he conducts a Wagner-playing orchestra outside an enemy’s house who despises the German composer; the other is when he saves the blushes of a chef with Tourettes syndrome by leading a restaurant in a rousing swear-a-thon. It’s hardly Jon Snow taming the White Walkers, but Larry David isn’t your typical TV idol. He’s an anti-hero minus the hero. A selfish zealot who would happily ruin everyone’s day just to make a meaningless point. He’s also brilliant. The fact that he can get what will soon be nine seasons of television out of essentially the same setup – Larry makes a faux pas, half-heartedly tries to make up for it, hilarity ensues – is incredible.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:05 am

Behold, the latest must-have wedding accessory: dead butterflies | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Releasing soon-to-be-dead insects as the knot is tied is the latest witless idea from an industry that churns out identikit ceremonies for exorbitant fees

There are many things to find distasteful about the wedding-industrial complex, but the fact that it is now causing the deaths of butterflies surely takes the (naked) cake. According to Butterfly Conservation, the trend for releasing butterflies from a box during wedding ceremonies, known as “butterfly confetti” (me neither), could be spreading disease as well as diverting vital conservation resources away from protecting species under threat.

This is how it works: you pay £350 for each of your 50 guests to hold a box with a butterfly in it while a Native American poem is read out (“If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first / Capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it” – sounds totally authentic to me) and, presumably, that perfect picture is captured as a cloud of beautiful insects flutter blindly towards the air-conditioning unit as you embark upon your married life in a whirlwind of everlasting love, fidelity and butterfly parts. Such a lovely service.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:04 am

Poor Art | Arte Povera review – the show that proves Britain's on the blink

Estorick Collection, London
What can we learn from these British responses to arte povera, the subversive Italian movement from the 1960s? That it’ll take more than fur sculpture and a daisy cross to outclass the Europeans

The bilingual title of this exhibition is more than a little unfortunate. The term arte povera, the 1960s Italian movement so christened by the critic Germano Celant, translates as “poor art”. And, as it happens, most of the British imitations of arte povera at the Estorick Collection are very poor indeed. This is a great advert for immediately abandoning Brexit. As part of the EU, we can share in the great artistic heritage of Italy which includes, as this show reminds us, not only Michelangelo Buonarroti but also Michelangelo Pistoletto, not only Caravaggio but also Mario Merz. What can Britain boast? On this evidence, a couple of daft Eric Bainbridge sculptures covered in fur and some solipsistic nonsense by Gavin Turk.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:01 am

Judy Collins on Stephen Stills: ‘I said, it's such a beautiful song, but it's not winning me back’

The singer-songwriter’s romance and breakup with Stills inspired classic songs including Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Almost 50 years on, they are releasing an album and touring together

Nearly five decades ago, Judy Collins and Stephen Stills sparked a romance that was passionate and volatile enough to enter rock’n’roll lore. Their private connection became public after Stills, rejected by Collins, put his pining into classic songs such as Suite: Judy Blue Eyes and Helplessly Hoping, both of which turned up on the first Crosby Stills and Nash album in 1969. Three years later, Stills recorded another piece about their relationship, So Begins the Task, which addressed the hard labour of accepting rejection. Collins recorded and released her own version of that song less than 12 months later. Then, in 1975, Collins wrote Houses, which finds her haunting the places Stills resides in without her.

That dense knot of history adds delicious context to a current joint tour for the two stars, which recently made a stop at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on New York’s Long Island. Throughout the night, Collins and Stills meet each other’s eyes with easy empathy, reflecting the sweet kinship they struck and maintained after their romance ended.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:00 am

New figures reveal scale of controversial leasehold homes

DCLG estimates that 1.4m houses and 2.9m flats have been sold with such contracts as government considers ban on new sales by developers

The number of leasehold houses in England is significantly higher than previously estimated, according to new government figures released before an expected ban on future sales by developers.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said there were 1.4m leasehold houses in England in 2015-16, compared with the previous estimate of 1.2m in 2014-15, following a change in methodology to include socially rented properties.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 2:00 am

Police question man and woman after body found in south London garden

Police arrest 40-year-old man and 34-year-old woman after badly burned body was found by firefighters at Wandsworth house

A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a body was discovered in the garden of a house in south-west London.

Firefighters who put out a fire at the address on Wimbledon Park Road in Wandsworth called police at about 6.30pm on Wednesday to report the body.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:57 am

Fendi turns the catwalk into a stage for its arthouse persona

The fashion house’s grand strategy to align itself with the great names of Italian art and culture was played out in Milan

The catwalk is one of many platforms in Fendi’s grand strategy to align itself with the great names of Italian art and culture. Under this ambitious brand positioning – or “communion of intent”, in its CEO Pietro Beccari’s more elegant phrasing – Fendi has become a generous patron of the city of Rome, where it is based. The house paid the £2m bill for the recent restoration of the Trevi fountain, and staged a fashion show upon its reopening.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:50 am

Co-op profits fall as it offloads final stake in bank

Mutual group says decline is result of handing discounts to members and losses in its insurance business

The Co-operative Group has reported a fall in profits after handing out £35m to members and community projects, and selling its final 1% stake in the Co-op Bank.

The mutual, which runs grocery shops, funeral homes and an insurance business, said it made underlying pre-tax profits of £14m in the six months to 1 July, down 48% on the same period a year before. The decline was largely the result of a £29m payout in discounts to member shoppers and nearly £6m to local communities under its revived membership rewards scheme. Excluding the member payouts, underlying pretax profits rose 59% to £43m.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:47 am

No business, no boozing, no casual sex: when Togo turned off the internet | Mawuna Koutonin

When young people started mobilising online against Togo’s president, the state switched off the internet. In the week that followed, people talked more, worked harder and had less sex – all of which proved bad news for the government

On 5 September, at about 10am, the government of Togo cut off the internet. The plan was to limit the threat from a growing number of young people around the country who were mobilising online and talking of toppling the government.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:26 am

Climate optimism has been a disaster. We need a new language – desperately | Ellie Mae O’Hagan

The extreme weather of the past months is a game-changer: surely now the world is ready to talk about climate change as a civilisation-collapsing catastrophe

In 1988, when the scientist James Hansen told a senate committee that it was “time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here”, those who took him seriously assumed that if they just persisted with emphasising that this terrible fact would eventually destroy us, action would be taken. Instead, the opposite happened: when confronted with the awful reality of climate change, most people tended to retreat into a panglossian vision of the future, or simply didn’t want to hear about it.

Related: Stop talking right now about the threat of climate change. It’s here; it’s happening | Bill McKibben

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:24 am

An insurgent force for good – that’s our vision for the Green party | Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley

Our party conference will address the political challenge of how to collectively design a future where we can all thrive – and have a larger life

The hurricanes battering the Caribbean are a deadly reminder of the immense force of nature. They show with stark clarity what happens when those with the most power fail to protect those with the least, and when those with the greatest ability to tackle the growing threat of climate breakdown shirk their responsibility to those who face its worst effects.

The story of our recent past and our present is of a handful of powerful people acting against the interests of everyone else. Those who make it to the top – of multinational corporations and of government – defend themselves and the status quo against all attacks, deepening inequality in society and sowing the seeds of planetary destruction. The future doesn’t need to be like this, but if we want to write a different story we need to start now.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:21 am

Real Betis keep their heads to leave Real Madrid assessing early-season damage | Sid Lowe

Thirty-five different teams over 73 games stretching back almost 18 months had tried and failed to stop Real Madrid scoring. Real Betis went one better

Manchester United couldn’t do it, Manchester City couldn’t do it and Bayern Munich couldn’t do it. Juventus couldn’t do it either. Nor could Borussia Dortmund, Napoli or Sporting Lisbon. The other Sporting, from Gijón, couldn’t do it. They came from Mexico, Japan, Poland and Cyprus and failed too. Barcelona tried four times but they couldn’t do it. Sevilla and Atlético had five goes each. Nope, no good. Along came Valencia, Deportivo and Celta, Osasuna, Espanyol and Villarreal, but they couldn’t do it and nor could Las Palmas, Eibar, Athletic, Cultural, Granada, Málaga, Alavés or Leganés. Real Betis, on the other hand, could. In fact, on Wednesday night they only went and did something even better.

Thirty-five different teams from eight different countries had tried over 73 games and six competitions stretching back almost 18 months and none of them had stopped Real Madrid scoring, but Betis were almost there. There was still time for it to slip away, especially against the team with a thing for agonising late goals and they were nervous but they were near. It was 11.47pm and the scoreboard at the Santiago Bernabéu, like scoreboards everywhere, had stopped on 90 minutes – information denied when it’s most needed. Alongside, it read: Madrid 0-0 Betis. The board went up: five minutes, one last bugle call, a record awaiting, fans screaming at them to pour forward.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:21 am

When media sceptics misrepresent our climate research we must speak out

Our climate paper underlined that strong action towards the 1.5C Paris goal is perhaps more valid than ever, but reading some of the media coverage you might think the opposite was true

On Monday, we published a paper in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience that re-evaluated how much carbon dioxide we can still afford, collectively, to emit into the atmosphere and still retain some hope of achieving the ambitious goals of the Paris climate agreement to “pursue efforts” to keep global temperatures to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The carbon budget we found, to yield a two-in-three chance of meeting this goal, was equivalent to starting CO2 emission reductions immediately and continuing in a straight line to zero in less than 40 years: a formidable challenge.

Formidable, but not inconceivable. The distinction matters, because if it were already completely impossible to achieve the Paris ambition, many might argue there was no point in pursuing those efforts in the first place – or that the only option left is immediately starting to cool the planet with artificial volcanoes.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:09 am

Jake LaMotta was not a great champion but one of the toughest, a boxing beast | Kevin Mitchell

The fine details of his brief reign as world middleweight champion are not always absorbed in recollections of his career, mainly because one of the greatest films of all time painted him in classically Shakespearean mode

Jake LaMotta should have been in Las Vegas to watch Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, two distinguished middleweights pitched together to echo the deeds of the division’s glorious past, a fight reckoned to restore boxing’s faltering image. LaMotta, who knew a lot about the game’s sullied reputation, would have given it a wry smile.

The fight did not quite do its job. It was a terrific rather than a truly great contest and dreadful misjudgment by one of the officials overwhelmingly in favour of Álvarez returned a split draw, drowning out all other post-fight sentiments. So, unfairly but inevitably, Golovkin-Álvarez will be remembered only slightly more fondly than the theatrical crossover fight in the same ring three weeks earlier between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 1:06 am

The wrong sort of voter? There’s no such thing, AC Grayling | Giles Fraser: Loose canon

Grayling revives a fear of the mob that’s as old as Plato. Brexit convinced our elite that ordinary people were not intelligent enough to know what’s best for them

Plato famously insisted that the ideal society should be run by philosophers. Just as the master of a ship must be an expert in the craft of navigation, so too the master of the good society must be an expert in the craft of good governance. And just as you shouldn’t allow any old Tom, Dick or Harry to become the master of a ship, so you shouldn’t give them mastery over a society either. That is Plato’s case against democracy. Governance requires experts. Philosophers.

Step forward AC Grayling – philosopher. In his new book, Democracy and Its Crisis, he tells us that the Brexit result was the consequence of giving too much power to the wrong sort of people. The reason we have representative democracy rather than direct democracy, he says, is so that the various institutions of government are able to ameliorate the fickleness and ignorance of the ordinary voter. “Sometimes he drinks heavily while listening to the flute,” sneered Plato at this ordinary voter. Asking the opinions of such people is bound to cause trouble. They are not bright enough to know when they are being manipulated; not expert enough to know what’s best for them. Thus, disappointed remainers like AC Grayling have revived the ancient idea that “clever” people should have more of a say than others in how this country is run.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:48 am

Sadiq Khan to speak at Labour conference after party rethink

London mayor initially denied chance to address the floor when leadership decided to allow more time for members to speak

Sadiq Khan has finally secured a speaking slot at Labour conference next week after a party committee overruled a previous decision that he would be blocked from the programme.

The London mayor will now have to start writing a last-minute speech after the conference arrangements committee (CAC) managed to secure him a slot.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:33 am

A flying fox and the London Design festival: Thursday's photographs of the day

A selection of the best photographs from around the word including a Catalan independence protest, the London Design festival and a flying fox

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:32 am

Ryanair chief claims he can force pilots to give up a week of leave

Michael O’Leary says pilots do not have a ‘difficult job’ but admits he cannot rule out further flight cancellations into November

The Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, has escalated the airline’s dispute with pilots, saying they do not have a “difficult job” and claiming he can force them to defer their time off.

O’Leary is scrambling to prevent more disruption to Ryanair’s schedule after cancelling up to 50 flights a day due to a rota “mess-up” that left it short of pilots.

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:26 am

'Africa's Tate Modern' – Cape Town’s Zeitz-Mocaa gallery opens

The largest contemporary art museum in Africa opens on Friday as a ‘platform for Africans to tell their own story’

A week before its public opening, the social spectacle surrounding the preview of Cape Town’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz-Mocaa) threatened to eclipse the art on display. There was a soiree hosted by Gucci. Hanging above the makeshift dancefloor was a giant rubber flying dragon by South African artist Nicholas Hlobo. In one of the museum’s white cubes, an installation of half-mannequins made from cowhide – Emabutfo by Swazi-born Nandipha Mntambo – became a backdrop for selfies. But the buzz was good and the free tickets for all four days of this weekend’s public opening (22-25 September) were accounted for online (the museum promises more will be available on the door).

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Posted on 22 September 2017 | 12:04 am

Article 127: the obscure clause that could deliver a soft Brexit | Jonathan Lis

For MPs concerned about the impact on the economy, article 127 on EEA exit is an opportunity: if parliament wishes to avoid hard Brexit, it could be key

As the government continues its mission to pull Britain out of the single market at apparently any cost, the last hope for remainers and soft Brexiters could lie in the least glamorous and most surprising of places: article 127 of the 1994 European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. This obscure legal clause could, indeed, be all that stands between Britain’s economy and a cliff edge.

Related: Time isn’t on her side: Theresa May must set out her Brexit plan this week | Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:58 pm

No, a standing desk isn't as unhealthy as smoking

Does a new study really claim that standing at work is as unhealthy as a cigarette a day? Closer inspection suggests probably not

A headline in the Independent today has proclaimed that standing at work is “as unhealthy as a cigarette a day”, citing a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Illustrated with a picture of a woman bent over her standing desk clutching at her back, we’re instructed to “sit back down”.

But a closer look at the research in question reveals very little to do with standing desks. In fact, the study did not look at standing desks at all. The research was conducted on a sample of 7,320 residents of Ontario, Canada, followed up for over a decade. And its findings are striking – people whose job requires them to stand for long periods of time were twice as likely to contract heart disease compared to those who do jobs that predominantly involve being seated.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:57 pm

Women’s Super League: our team-by-team guide to the 2017-18 season

From Arsenal to Yeovil, we assess the contenders and likely strugglers for the maiden winter campaign – as Manchester City look to maintain their supremacy

Once the dominant force in women’s football, Arsenal have slipped behind Chelsea and Manchester City in recent years and have not lifted the title since 2012. Not that they should be taken lightly – they were the only team to remain unbeaten in the Spring Series. However, finishing third highlighted the need for greater efficiency.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:56 pm

'Columbine destroyed my entire career': Marilyn Manson on the perils of being the lord of darkness

He has been called an emissary of Satan and falsely blamed for one of the most notorious shootings in US history. But the singer has never been afraid of outrage. Is that really an excuse, though, to flick our interviewer’s testicles?

It is while discussing the difference between his stage persona and his day-to-day life that Marilyn Manson leans over and flicks me in the testicles. This comes as quite a surprise: I have encountered a lot of unusual things as a journalist, but have thus far managed to get by without an interviewee touching my genitals. More surprising still is that leaning over and flicking my testicles appears to form part of his answer to a question about whether he has ever felt consumed by the character he created a quarter of a century ago, in the same way that Bowie struggled to separate himself from Ziggy Stardust or the Thin White Duke. Certainly, the way he says: “That’s the difference!” immediately afterwards suggests it is, but I’m not sure.

For one thing, I am distracted by my sore testicles, and, for another, I wasn’t really following his line of argument at the time. First, he took my notepad, wrote “person” on it and added an “a” at the end. “I’m this and I’m this,” he said. “A person and a persona. But I can’t really divide the two. There’s a difference on the stage; people I don’t know I just seduce, in a lot of ways. You go offstage and people … even me and you now, talking …”

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:52 pm

Slough man jailed for spreading Isis propaganda

Taha Hussain, a friend of London Bridge attacker, shared material saying politicians, police and soldiers were ‘best people to kill’

A friend of the ringleader of the London Bridge terror attack has been jailed for four and a half years after making Isis propaganda videos outside Windsor Castle.

Taha Hussain, 21, from Berkshire, and another radical extremist filmed themselves driving around the castle and at the nearby Coldstream Guards barracks shouting Isis slogans and threatening to topple a statue of Queen Victoria.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:46 pm

How Jim Jarmusch used music to put a spell on Hollywood

Jim Jarmusch doesn’t just stick music on top of his films – he weaves it into their fibre. A new concert series shows how his soundtracks give a voice to drifters and dreamers

Jim Jarmusch has been one of US cinema’s drollest, driest voices for more than three decades but there are no excerpts from his films during Jim Jarmusch Revisited, an evening of music from his work at the Barbican, London. No dazed Johnny Depp in the trippy western Dead Man, no shock-haired Tilda Swinton in the vampires’ lament Only Lovers Left Alive, no serene Adam Driver as a bus-driving poet in Paterson. For the first three numbers, though, the nine-piece band is concealed by a gossamer-thin curtain on to which images from Jarmusch’s milieu are projected: criss-crossing metal fire escapes, a deck of cards, a day at the track. And smoke. Lots of smoke. (“I’ve smoked so many cigarettes,” he once said. “I am a cigarette. You know?”) This creates the illusion that the music is emanating from inside that footage, which feels exactly right. Jarmusch came to prominence in the early 80s, when movies were first being used as tools to sell soundtrack albums, but his were different. Music wasn’t there to shift units; it lived in the fibres of the celluloid.

Related: Jim Jarmusch: ‘I shy away from sex in my films. It makes me nervous’

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:38 pm

UK budget deficit narrows as shoppers boost VAT receipts

Public finances still rising as a proportion of GDP despite unexpectedly strong figures for August

Britain’s public sector spending deficit dropped to its lowest August total since 2007 after an increase in VAT revenues and a squeeze on local authority borrowing.

The deficit in August stood at £5.7bn, down 18% compared with the same month last year, beating forecasts of £7.1bn in a Reuters poll of economists.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:17 pm

Philippines: Duterte says his son will be killed if he is involved in drugs

Thousands of critics and supporters hold rival rallies as president pledges to protect police who would kill his son Paolo

The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has said he would have his son killed if drug trafficking allegations against the younger politician were true, and that the police who carry out the hit would be protected from prosecution.

Paolo Duterte, 42, appeared this month before a senate inquiry to deny accusations made by an opposition lawmaker that he was a member of a Chinese triad gang who helped smuggle in a huge shipment of crystal methamphetamine from China.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:12 pm

Readers recommend playlist: songs about tattoos and piercing

A reader picks from your body modifying suggestions, with Talking Heads, Radiohead and Wiz Khalifa all among those branded onto the list

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from your suggestions in the comments on last week’s callout for songs about body modifications. Read more on how this series works at the end of the piece.

Piercings, implants, branding, scarification, tattoos. I wanted to hear songs about permanent body art, but I told you you could stretch the theme any way you wanted – there is a lot of weird and wonderful stuff out there. I’ve decided to split the playlist in two, so here goes...

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:00 pm

The Horrors: V review – spindly indie survivors hit their sweet spot

Against the odds, the Horrors’ fifth album is their best yet, with Faris Badwan’s commanding, world-weary vocals adding to the synthesised thrills and sparkling guitar-pop

Let us briefly take a detour down memory lane. It is 2007 and, as a contestant on the most recent series of Big Brother has so eloquently put it, “there’s a new music that’s taking over our country and it’s called … ‘indie’”. The Pigeon Detectives bestride the Top 20. The second Razorlight album has just been certified five times platinum. The pages of the Observer play host to a feature that wonders aloud how Bloc Party will cope with being propelled to superstardom as a result of their new album: “A zeitgeist-defining record that rips up the rock rulebook.”

Strange days indeed, but imagine the consternation you could cause were you able to offer everyone a glimpse into the future, a world 10 years hence where Razorlight are headlining not Reading and Leeds but a VW campervan convention in Llangollen; where the lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs is now best-known as a judge on a talent show, and where the frontman of the Arctic Monkeys has left Yorkshire, changed his accent and now favours the world not with gritty vignettes of provincial Britain, but updates from the frontline of life as a swashbuckling multi-millionaire cocksman, rampant amid the sun-bronzed lovelies of Hollywood.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:00 pm

Nick Cave: Mercy On Me review – portrait of a bad seed

Reinhard Kleist’s graphic biography is full of visual delights, but the musician’s wit – crucial foil to his own myth-mongering – is less apparent

The cover already stakes out the franchise: Cave lopes towards us, a Marvel superdude crossed with a Reservoir Dogs gangster. Any moment, he may reach into a holster concealed in his jacket and … and what? Whip out the script of a lecture, ready to deliver edification to a bunch of grey-haired lit graduates? No, this graphic biography is not interested in that Nick Cave. It’s interested in the crazed outlaw who screams, “Hands up who wants to die!” and attacks the front row with a bloodspattered microphone stand.

Cave endorses the book, noting that it’s woven together from “half-truths and complete fabrications” but applauding its vision. “Closer to the truth than any biography, that’s for sure!” A typical example of the liberties Kleist takes is the scene where Tracy Pew, the bassist of Cave’s early 1980s band the Birthday Party, first dons his signature cowboy hat. In truth, it was given to him by a friend to wear in a music video. In Kleist’s version, Pew steals it from a liquor store when he and Cave go on a spree of shoplifting and destruction. No opportunity is spared to emphasise what bad seeds these young punks were.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:00 pm

Labour will hold a winning card if it harnesses the potential of its members | Emina Ibrahim

It’s right that members should get more of a say in choosing leadership candidates. To win an election, the party must be inclusive and empowering

Democracy is widely viewed as the only legitimate form of government. We all so often praise democratic organisations and pour scorn on centralised elites. It is an idea that is seen as a universal good. Except, for some reason, within the Labour party, where efforts to democratise internal elections have proved to be somewhat controversial.

With party conference approaching, there are various motions that will be put to the vote. But the one that has garnered most attention are the efforts to lower the threshold of MP and MEP votes needed for leadership candidates to get on the ballot paper, and ensure members get more of a say on who next steers the party. These efforts to democratise Labour have been characterised by some as being on behalf of a leftwing old guard who care more about capturing the party than winning general elections, those who are more interested in Labour party structures than the Labour party governing. But, in reality, the precise opposite is true.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:53 pm

The Hobbit at 80: much more than a childish prequel to The Lord of the Rings

It was deemed ‘juvenile trash’ when first published and, yes, the dwarves’ songs do irritate some – but ideas laid down in JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit shape fantasy to this day

The Hobbit, that retelling by Mr JRR Tolkien of the adventures of Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, is celebrating its 80th birthday, albeit with no party of special magnificence nor, perhaps, much talk and excitement in Hobbiton or beyond.

But while the the book is not as venerable as its hero – Bilbo died aged 131, we are told in Lord of the Rings; hobbits live, on average, to the age of 96.8 years according to the wonderful number-crunching site – it is still an anniversary worth noting.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:42 pm

'He headbutted me': Tony Abbott says he was assaulted by yes campaigner

Former prime minister says he was attacked on street in Hobart by a man who had asked to shake his hand, leaving Abbott with a swollen lip

The former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, has been assaulted in Hobart.

He says he was headbutted by a yes campaigner as he was walking towards his hotel, leaving him with a slightly swollen lip.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:42 pm

Ian Brady had locked cases of his belongings removed before death

Moors murderer asked for briefcases to be taken from his hospital room shortly before he died of heart failure, inquest told

Moors murderer Ian Brady asked for locked briefcases of his possessions to be removed from his hospital room before his death from natural causes earlier this year aged 79.

The detail emerged at an inquest which also concluded that Brady had died of cor pulmonale, a form of heart failure, caused by bronchopneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or lung disease.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:34 pm

With a liar like Boris Johnson as foreign secretary how can Europe trust Britain? | Joris Luyendijk

The UK depends upon its reputation for honesty, fairness and respect for the law. Johnson’s Brexit bill pronouncements are testing anglophiles’ patience

To get a sense of where the UK’s reputation in the rest of Europe is heading, go to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) website and type in the name of the British foreign minister. Then think of what an ordinary German reader will make of these search results:

“How Boris Johnson makes a fool of himself in an interview.”

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:33 pm

McLaren’s F1 engine switch gives power to team’s belief they can revive fortunes | Giles Richards

Ending their disastrous relationship with Honda and teaming up with Renault will not make McLaren winners overnight but it may be enough to lay the foundations for the future – especially if Fernando Alonso signs a new deal

A return to “normality” in Formula One next season – “to be on the podium and fight for victories” – is Fernando Alonso’s expectation for McLaren after the team formally announced their partnership with Honda would end this year. The relationship has proved to be a very public car crash for the team and the engine manufacturer over the last three years and Alonso has been absolutely clear that he held Honda responsible. His optimism stems from the switch to Renault power units but the task that lies ahead for McLaren remains immense.

The most successful British racing team, with eight constructors’ and 12 driver’s titles, have not won a race since Jenson Button’s victory at Brazil in 2012. They have not claimed a constructors’ title since 1998. The switch to Renault is not going to reverse this trend overnight but it may be enough to lay the foundations for the future.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:21 pm

Strike talk will only grow louder as rugby union demands on players increase | Paul Rees

It feels fitting the Premiership is embracing the US when one of American sport’s historic traits – player militancy – looms ever larger in response to plans to extend the season

It was fitting that the Premiership dropped into the United States last weekend in a month when high‑profile players have added their support to calls for strike action as a last resort should proposals to expand the season by a month from 2019-20 go ahead.

Professional sport in the US has a history of strikes. The 1994-95 dispute in baseball was the longest, lasting 232 days and making 1994 the first year without a World Series for 90 years. American football, basketball, ice hockey and even football have all been hit by walkouts, with salary caps and owners’ demands to be compensated for the loss of players as free agents usually at the centre of a dispute.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:20 pm

Reeling in the years: dementia-friendly screenings make cinema accessible to all

Cinemas across the UK are hosting special screenings and reminiscence therapy activities for older audiences as part of World Alzheimer’s Month

It’s a little after 1.30pm on a Wednesday and a crowd has gathered outside the Rio cinema in Dalston, east London. The first film of the day will not start for another hour, but regulars to the monthly classic matinee are eager to grab their favourite seats.

The matinee is aimed at the community’s senior citizens and all the screenings are dementia-friendly. Cinemagoers are greeted warmly by the familiar faces of the Rio’s staff, who take their orders for tea, coffee and cake – all free with the £2 ticket.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:19 pm

Girls and mental health: share your experiences

Data shows one in four girls have depression by the time they hit 14. We’d like you to share your thoughts and experiences of mental health issues

About 166,000 girls and 67,000 boys aged 14 across the UK are depressed, according to a new study.

Government-funded research found that 24% of 14-year-old girls and 9% of boys the same age have depression with symptoms including feeling tired, lonely and negative self-worth.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:17 pm

Arsène Wenger denies making example of Alexis Sánchez after failed move

• Forward has not started in Premier League since Manchester City interest
• Arsenal manager says he believes Sánchez is happy at club

Arsène Wenger has insisted he is not seeking to make any sort of point to Alexis Sánchez over his selections of the forward so far this season.

Sánchez tried and failed to force a move to Manchester City before the closure of the summer transfer window and Wenger has used him since as a starter in the Europa League and Carabao Cup but only as a substitute in the Premier League.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:09 pm

Wings review – Juliet Stevenson soars in stroke recovery tale

Young Vic, London
Performing 360-degree loops, pummelled by voices and piecing together her shattered speech, Stevenson goes bravely to the limit in this high-concept show

Juliet Stevenson must require danger money when she works at the Young Vic. In the 2014 production of Beckett’s Happy Days, she was buried nightly under a mound of cascading shingle. Now in Arthur Kopit’s play, she is strapped in a harness and required to swoop and dive through the air like an acrobat. I admire her heroic dedication, but the production by Natalie Abrahami, who also directed the Beckett, strikes me as wildly overelaborate in its attempt to visualise the consequences of a stroke.

Kopit’s play was conceived for radio, where it worked perfectly: it gave you the uncanny sensation of being inside its protagonist’s head. John Madden’s 1979 stage version, seen in New York and at the National with Constance Cummings, was less effective in spite of its ingenious use of revolving black screens. Abrahami and her designer, Michael Levine, go much further. Seizing on the fact that Kopit’s heroine, Emily Stilson, is an aviator, they show her in constant flight as she seeks to recover her fragmented sense of self. They also give us a perpetually mobile platform, projections and aural bombardment, but what you lose in all this busyness is Kopit’s lightning shifts from Emily’s inner consciousness to the external world.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:08 pm

Can I give up my landline and use 4G broadband?

Paul gave up his broadband contract when he went travelling. Having survived using mobile, he wonders if he could do without a landline altogether

When we went travelling, we gave up our Virgin contract for an internet and TV package. We have been using Three’s “Feel at home” for mobile phone internet access on data roaming quite successfully. Now, going home, I am wondering about signing up for Three’s 40GB HomeFi. It has to cover our home internet needs – two computers, two mobile phones – in central Edinburgh. I’m not bothered about internet TV because we can get a new DVD player/Freeview HD recorder. Would this be feasible? Paul

The general answer is no. Today, most people are better off paying for a wired internet connection. The specific answer is: it depends.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:00 pm

Austen gets lost in Pascoe's Pride and Prejudice: is her novel unadaptable?

Standup Sara Pascoe’s scattershot production throws into relief how funny Elizabeth Bennet and co already were, without any need of updating

Jane Austen gazes out from the £10 notes handed over for interval ice-creams. Or is she glaring? Her inscrutable expression is now printed on the currency that Austen’s despairing female protagonists were desperate to secure through marriage. These particular notes are changing hands at the Nottingham Playhouse, where yet another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is being staged.

Comedian Sara Pascoe is the latest to wrestle with the modern-day relevance of Austen’s marriage plotting. Out goes the Regency-era restraint, along with any shred of subtext. Using a play-within-a-play structure, this new version careers between a GCSE English cheat-sheet and an attempt at pithy contemporary critique.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:54 pm

Fake severed hand leads to A19 road closure

Police shut the road near Middlesbrough to investigate a bloody hand and wrist that was found to be a prop

Police who closed a major road after a driver spotted a suspicious item have said it was a realistic-looking fake severed hand.

The Cleveland and Durham Roads Policing Unit shut the A19 near Middlesbrough on Wednesday evening while investigations were carried out, warning that traffic flow would be slower due to officers on the carriageway.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:50 pm

EU to find ways to make Google, Facebook and Amazon pay more tax

European commission looks at tax rules after report reveals tech firms pay less than half the tax of traditional companies

The EU is pushing ahead with plans to rewrite tax rules for technology companies, aimed at increasing governments’ take from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The European commission is looking at ways to capture tax from companies that may have no offices, shops or other physical presence in a country, but are accruing profits through large numbers of online users or customers.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:42 pm

Remove society’s safety net and what do we get? Disabled toddlers in dirty clothes | Frances Ryan

The coalition government abolished the social fund in 2013. People such as Kirsty and her family now have to fend for themselves in a crisis

The new washing machine sitting in Kirsty’s kitchen is worth its weight in gold. In their council house in Manchester, Kirsty, 25, is caring for her two young boys – four-year-old disabled Keaton and three-year-old Braydon. Keaton was born with end-stage renal failure and it’s gruelling on him and the family: years of dialysis, multiple operations, and even a kidney transplant from his mum last year. (Kirsty wears a bracelet with the date 9/6/16 and stars round it to mark a “life-saving date”.)

But money – keeping the boys fed and warm and dry – is another weight on her mind. Kirsty had planned to go back to work after her sons’ births – she sold football kits in Manchester City’s club shop and before that cleaned for years – but it was impossible with Keaton’s health. Her fiance – wracked with ulcers and a form of Crohn’s disease – is currently applying for out-of-work sickness benefits and getting nothing in the meantime. It means that for years, their only income has been Keaton’s disability benefit, disability living allowance (DLA) and Kirsty’s carer’s allowance.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:40 pm

Political reporter beaten to death in north-east India

Shantanu Bhowmick attacked with sticks outside Agartala two weeks after high-profile murder of another journalist

A reporter covering political unrest in India’s north-east was beaten to death during violent clashes, officials have said, two weeks after the high-profile murder of another prominent journalist.

Shantanu Bhowmick was set upon with sticks as he reported on violence on Wednesday between warring political factions and police outside Agartala, the capital of remote Tripura state.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:31 pm

iOS 11: toggling wifi and Bluetooth in Control Centre doesn't actually turn them off

Quick switch simply disconnects phone from access points and devices rather than turning off the radios, in move criticised by security researchers

The new, redesigned Control Centre in iOS 11, which appears to allow users to toggle various settings such as turning wifi and Bluetooth off, doesn’t actually turn them completely off.

Control Centre has a plethora of quick toggles, designed to allow users to quickly change a few key settings including activating the flashlight, turning off screen rotation and controlling the display’s brightness.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:18 pm

Jeremy Corbyn - a travelling portrait

In the weeks before Labour’s annual party conference, Jeremy Corbyn travelled the length and breadth of the UK for a tour of marginal seats. Photographer Sean Smith was with him for the journey

Jeremy Corbyn placed his party on permanent campaign mode with a national tour beginning in Cornwall.Choosing Conservative-held seats across England and Wales, and SNP seats in Scotland, the Labour party planned a series of campaigning events to prepare for the next election, visiting 47 marginal seats, and 50 constituencies in total.

Corbyn wanted to take a “message of hope to marginal seats” and by targeting Tory-held seats, rather than those with Labour MPs, focus on achieving a parliamentary majority. Almost all the seats, apart from two in Scotland, are held by other parties where the sitting MPs’ majorities were significantly cut in the general election.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 8:26 pm

I live a healthier life now I’m free of the trappings of modernity | Mark Boyle

Staying healthy is not about doctors, ambulances and technology. I’m in tune with my body and use healthy eating, exercise and herbs to keep me in balance

When people learn of my decision to reject modern complex technology in favour of older, slower, forgotten ways, their first line of inquiry usually involves healthcare. Considering its importance to our lives, this is hardly surprising. Yet because of its emotive nature – which of us, after all, doesn’t have friends or family needing glasses, hearing aids, stents or prescription drugs? – it seems difficult to have a calm, objective discussion on the subject.

Related: Life without social media has taught me the virtues of being social | Mark Boyle

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 8:00 pm

How to make the perfect no-bake cheesecake

The perfect combination of rich-but-not-overly-so topping and crunchy base is very hard to get right. So what is the secret to this cheater’s cheesecake?

When I was growing up in the 80s, cheesecake came in two varieties: half defrosted from a Sara Lee packet – for special occasions – or served (not quite often enough) in enormous refrigerated slabs at school.

Both were topped with a vividly gloopy fruits-of-the-forest mix, but, where Sara’s was dense and painfully sweet, even to my eight-year-old palate, the redoubtable school meals supervisors, with their customary deft hands in the pudding department, always nailed the dish. I have no idea what they put in it (although the biscuit base may have been cobbled together from staffroom scraps), but, to this day, I have a fatal weakness for the set cheesecake over the far older baked variety. If I’m never allowed into the baked cheesecake’s spiritual home of New York again, in consequence, it will be well worth it.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 8:00 pm

Racism label should not deter British police from FGM fight, says officer

Safeguarding girls from genital mutilation and avoiding complacency must remain priority, says Operation Limelight leader

Claims of racism over female genital mutilation (FGM) investigations should not be allowed to disrupt a police initiative targeting families coming into the UK from countries where the practice is prevalent, one of the officers leading the project has said.

Insp Allen Davis of the Metropolitan police’s child abuse and sexual offences command is part of Operation Limelight, a team of about 30 police officers, Border Force officials and social workers who meet flights coming in from countries where children might have been taken for FGM over the summer holidays. Among others they focus on flights coming into the UK from Egypt, Nigeria and other African countries including Ethiopia.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 7:49 pm

Volunteers and soldiers search in silence for children at collapsed Mexico school

Discovery of 12-year-old Frida Sofía in the rubble keeps Mexicans glued to their TVs in hope of finding a child alive where at least 21 died

A hushed silence has kept falling over the volunteers, soldiers and neighbours congregating outside a collapsed school in southern Mexico City, where rescue workers tried to extract students trapped under the rubble.

A stern-looking officer in jeans and black vest from Mexico’s federal police would raise his fist high above his head signalling silence on Wednesday to enable rescuers with sensitive microphones to listen for cries from the rubble.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 7:26 pm

South Korea approves $8m aid package for North Korea

Decision to release funds for humanitarian programmes for infants and pregnant women risks rift with US and Japan

South Korea has approved an $8m (£5.9m) aid package for North Korea, in a humanitarian gesture at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

South Korea’s unification ministry agreed to provide the funds, which will go towards programmes for infants and pregnant women, days after the UN security council agreed a further round of sanctions in response to the regime’s recent nuclear test.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 7:08 pm

Bloom time: the London floristry scheme helping refugee women

Bread and Roses, a social enterprise aims to help female refugees gain new skills and work experience, and practice their English

‘I’ve never had the chance to build a career. I was a student when my traffickers brought me here and then, as an asylum seeker, I wasn’t allowed to work,” explains 37-year-old Monica from Ghana. “Now I’ve got leave to remain, I’ve felt anxious about throwing myself straight into full-time employment,” she adds.

It’s a challenge facing many refugees in the UK who, regardless of their professional backgrounds, often find themselves up against language barriers, loss of confidence, CV gaps, and a lack of UK work experience.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

Why religious belief isn't a delusion – in psychological terms, at least

Religious beliefs are typically incompatible with scientific evidence and observable reality, but aren’t considered to be delusions. Why not?

If someone told you, in all seriousness, that they talk to invisible beings who control the universe, you’d probably back away slowly, nodding and smiling, while desperately looking for the nearest exit or escape route. If this person then said they wanted to be in charge of your life, you’d probably do the same, but more urgently, and with a view to finding the nearest police officer.

And yet, this happens all the time. Arch Brexiter, unlikely Tory leadership candidate and human Pez-dispenser Jacob Rees-Mogg recently blamed his extreme and unpleasant views on his Catholicisim, which was seen as a valid excuse by many. Current placeholder prime minister Theresa May has made a big deal about how her Christian upbringing makes her suitable for the role. And despite the lawful separation of church and state, every official and wannabe US president has had to emphasise their religious inclinations. Even Trump, whose enthusiasm for maintaining the noble traditions of the presidency can be described as limited at best.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

Marine Le Pen aide Florian Philippot quits Front National

French far-right leader’s top strategist says he has been ‘ridiculed’ as he departs amid tensions with his boss after election defeat

The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has suffered a blow to her crisis-stricken Front National party after her top strategist quit amid bitter infighting over Europe and identity politics in the wake of the presidential election defeat.

Florian Philippot, the young, media-savvy civil servant who was Le Pen’s intellectual right-hand man for eight years and architect of the party’s pledge to quit the euro currency, announced he was leaving the party in an angry breakfast TV interview, saying he had been pushed out.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:58 pm

‘The spider did an Indiana Jones style swing into the car’ – share your scary spider stories

A couple from Hervey Bay have had to evict a colony of spiders from their backyard this week. What’s the scariest run-in you’ve had with Australia’s creepy crawlies? Share your stories in the comments

You may never look at the dew on your lawn in the same way again. A couple from Hervey Bay, on Queensland’s southern coast, were horrified to discover a colony of spiders had taken up residence in their backyard this week. What they believed was a patch of dew covering the lawn under their children’s trampoline was actually a huge spider’s web. They tried to disperse it themselves but the determined arachnids rebuilt their giant cobweb overnight. The couple have now called in professionals to get rid of the spider colony and no one has been hurt – but how many of us have not been so lucky?

We asked Guardian staff about their run-ins with Australia’s creepy crawlies. Share your story in the comments below.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:24 pm

Hidden booking details left us with an unusable Virgin gift voucher

We tried to book before the use-by date, but the website said we were too late

Our sons bought us a Virgin Experience in May, which comprised a tour of the Buckingham Palace state rooms and a champagne afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason.

The vouchers were clearly printed with the use-by date of 29 September 2017. On 16 August we went on the website to make a booking. Only then did we discover in the confusing booking details that we should have made it before 16 June.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

Met police chat forum was used to post insults aimed at Gypsies

Three police officers and a civilian staff member criticised by Independent Police Complaints Commission for failing to act

Three Metropolitan police officers and a police staff member should face misconduct meetings for participating in an online chat site that carried derogatory comments about Gypsies and Irish Travellers, a watchdog has ruled.

The finding by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) reverses previous internal Met police disciplinary inquiries and has prompted accusations that the force is “incapable” of investigating itself.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

Here We Are: British photographers document ways of life – in pictures

Here We Are, Burberry’s exhibition of British social and documentary photography, features more than 200 works by, among others, Dafydd Jones, Bill Brandt, Brian Griffin, Shirley Baker, Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Jo Spence and Janette Beckman. The exhibition is divided into themes, and it also showcases important bodies of work by individual photographers. Here, the co-curator Lucy Kumara Moore introduces some highlights from the show.

The exhibition is displayed over three floors of the Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, London, from 18 September to 1 October

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

Where to see spectacular autumn colours around the world: our readers’ tips

It’s the season for mother nature to dazzle us with golds, reds, yellows and oranges … Our readers recommend the most vibrant autumnal displays in Europe, North America and Japan

They call it the Złota Polska Jesień – the Polish Golden Autumn. It’s when the oaks and sycamores around Krakow do their best New England impression. Just 20 minutes’ drive north of the city is the smallest national park in the country: Ojców. A series of small, sylvan valleys turns into a beautiful patchwork of ochre and rust-red starting in September. There are forest trails running past streams, caves and crooked cottages. You can climb up to lookout points for views over the tops of the woods, and see Ojców Castle studding the hillside like something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 5:30 pm

Here’s what Theresa May would say in Florence – if she really cared about Britain | Polly Toynbee

The prime minister should do the right thing by us and Europe. But don’t hold your breath

Sitting at her desk, Theresa May is drafting her Florence speech for Friday. The time has come, she finally decides, to put country before party; to abandon the vain attempt to bind together her party’s utterly incompatible factions. What’s the point? There’s no possible EU deal that would induce John Redwood and Liam Fox to agree with Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke, no fence left to sit on. She must become the prime minister no one thinks she is.

Related: Time isn’t on her side: Theresa May must set out her Brexit plan this week | Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 5:00 pm

Why we need the welfare state more than ever

Shocked by the ‘poverty cycle’, British reformers created a safety net for casual workers. Now precarious working conditions are back, and the welfare state is under attack. By Chris Renwick

Tucked away behind York Minster – the grand cathedral adorned with medieval stained-glass windows that dominates the North Yorkshire city’s skyline – is a cobbled street that has become an informal labour exchange. Each day, just before lunch, couriers dressed in the distinctive mint green and black uniform of Deliveroo, the online food delivery company, arrive at the end of this street, park their bikes and scooters next to a bench, and talk among themselves. Clutching their smartphones, they wait for someone, somewhere in the city, to place an order with one of the nearby restaurants and cafes. When an order comes through, one of the couriers will pick it up and deliver it in exchange for a small fee. They will then return to the bench to wait.

Plenty of people in early 21st-century Britain can identify with the experience of working for a company like Deliveroo. Drivers for the taxi firm Uber, for example, know only too well what it’s like for work to arrive in fits and starts via an app. But even more people are employed on zero-hour contracts in a wide variety of jobs, from stacking shelves to waiting tables to caring for the elderly. According to the Office for National Statistics, around 900,000 workers rely on a job with a zero-hour contract. These people start every week not knowing how much work they will get or how much money they will earn.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 4:58 pm

Google to buy part of HTC's smartphone operations for $1bn

Deal will not involve purchase of direct stake and HTC will continue to run its remaining phone business

Google has announced a deal to acquire part of Taiwanese firm HTC Corp’s smartphone operations for about $1bn.

The deal will not involve the purchase of a direct stake and HTC will continue to run its remaining smartphone business.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 4:05 pm

Die Partei: satirical German party gains ground on social media

Group that pledges to introduce cocaine on prescription has gathered more new Facebook fans than AfD or Merkel’s CDU

A German political party that promises to legalise drink driving, introduce cocaine on prescription and kidnap Turkey’s president is winning the social media race ahead of Germany’s federal election, an analysis of Facebook data shows.

Die Partei (“The Party”), founded in 2004 by editors of satire magazine Titanic, has in the month leading up to this Sunday’s vote gathered more new fans on the social network than any other German political party, including the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 4:00 pm

‘Sound of a dog barking’: North Korea ridicules Trump threat

North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, responds to Donald Trump calling Kim Jong-un ‘rocket man’

North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, has issued a withering riposte to Donald Trump, likening his threat to destroy the regime to the “sound of a dog barking”, adding that he “felt sorry” for the US president’s advisers.

In his first speech to the UN general assembly, Trump said on Tuesday the US would be forced to “totally destroy” North Korea if Washington was forced to defend itself or its allies against the country’s missiles.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 3:36 pm

Whiskey, steroids and softball: prosecutor says 'Kentuckiana' lore is just theft

Crime gang targeted Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey distilleries, including hard to get and pricey bourbon brands

The spiriting away of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of whiskey had a whiff of romance and “a very Kentuckiana aspect”, a court has heard. But really it was just theft.

Gilbert Curtsinger faces up to 15 years in prison as the ringleader of a bourbon-heist that took an estimated $100,000 worth of liquor, after pleading guilty in a case that has secured a place in Kentucky lore.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 2:08 pm

115 peers claim £1.3m despite not speaking in Lords for nine months

Electoral Reform Society questions value offered by the ‘worrying number of couch-potato peers and lobby-fodder lords’

More than 100 peers have claimed almost £1.3m between them despite not having spoken in the House of Lords for at least nine months, according to a pressure group.

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) said an analysis of parliamentary records shows that of the almost 800 peers in the Lords, 115 of them – about 15% of the total – did not contribute in a debate between June 2016 and April 2017 yet claimed an average of £11,091 each.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 11:01 am

Theresa May speaks out against Trump climate change stance at UN

PM ranks US plan to withdraw from Paris treaty alongside North Korean nuclear tests as threat to global security

Theresa May has issued a veiled warning to Donald Trump, arguing that his plan to withdraw from the Paris climate change treaty ranks alongside North Korea’s nuclear missile tests as a threat to global prosperity and security.

In a speech to the United Nations general assembly, the prime minister, whose authority at home has been severely tested since June’s general election result, sought to project her vision of a “rules-based” international order.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:57 am

French and Saunders film version of The Handmaid's Tale in Christmas special

Comedians Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders prepare parodies as they revive sketch show 30 years after its first outing

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are to return to TV screens this Christmas, 30 years after the first series of their sketch show was broadcast.

The BBC1 festive special of French and Saunders will feature the double act’s most popular sketches from the past three decades, plus rarely seen footage and new material.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 10:00 am

Leader of gang suspected of murdering British kayaker in Brazil is killed

Evanilson Gomes da Costa, leader of ‘Water Rats’ gang, died in hospital of gunshot wounds, say police investigating death of Emma Kelty

One of the leaders of the gang of river pirates who robbed and murdered a British kayaker in the Amazon has been killed, police investigating the death of Emma Kelty have said.

Another man accused of being a leader in the attack, Arthur Gomes da Silva, was arrested and confessed his role, they said.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 9:25 am

More balance needed in debate over statues | Letters

In every age, people will find ways to justify and celebrate what is in their economic interests, writes Joseph Cocker, while Jenny Blackwell says controversial statues should remain, but context should be provided

Toppling statues of everyone who supported racist and discriminatory views effectively whitewashes history (White supremacist statues must fall, 19 September). We could start with Plato and St Paul. And who is going to decide and how grave does the offence have to be? Far better to make people understand the context. The fact is that in every age, including our own, people find ways to justify what is in their economic interest, hence slavery and apartheid, and in many cases religion supported them. (I would make an exception where statues are erected long after the event with the deliberate aim of stoking old conflicts, as with some of the confederate statues in the US.)

Yarden Katz singles out Crick and Watson regarding eugenics. The word has acquired an aura of horror, but in practice we abort foetuses known to have abnormalities. They may have been misguided but the early proponents of eugenics genuinely wished to reduce the human misery that was all too apparent in Victorian times.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:38 am

Gucci channels Elton John for its Milan fashion week show

Creative director Alessandro Michele draws on the glam rock star’s stagewear in avant-garde collection that defies convention

Heidegger’s thoughts on authenticity, Camus’ writings on the nature of rebellion, 17th-century cartography and the stage wear of Elton John – the catwalk show that opened Milan fashion week did not follow a formula smacking of obvious commercial success. But this is Gucci, where the designer Alessandro Michele’s avant-garde approach to luxury has confounded the industry.

The fashion house’s financial results, released this summer, showed a phenomenal 43.4% sales growth. Even more striking is that Gucci, whose catwalk set mapped the Roman site of Horace’s Villa and whose show notes touched on post-structuralism, is adored by a younger generation most fellow heritage brands struggle to connect with: half of all Gucci customers were born after 1980.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 6:05 am

Acclaimed French chef asks to be stripped of three Michelin stars

Sébastien Bras, who runs Le Suquet restaurant in Laguiole, requests removal from rankings of gastronomic bible

One of France’s most celebrated chefs, whose restaurant has been honoured with three stars in the Michelin guide for almost 20 years, has pleaded to be stripped of the prestigious ranking because of the huge pressure of being judged on every dish he serves.

Sébastien Bras, 46, who runs the acclaimed Le Suquet restaurant in Laguiole where diners look over sweeping views of the Aubrac plateau in the Aveyron while tasting local produce, announced on Wednesday that he wanted to be dropped from the rankings of France’s gastronomic bible.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 5:08 am

DNA editing in human embryos reveals role of fertility 'master gene'

In a first for the UK, genome editing has been used to understand embryo development, and could help uncover the causes of recurrent miscarriages

Scientists in Britain have revealed the role of a fertility “master gene” in one of the world’s first demonstrations of DNA editing in human embryos.

The study, which marks a first for the UK, could help uncover the cause of recurrent miscarriages and lead to more effective fertility treatments. It also raises ethical questions about the prospect of controversial gene editing techniques being used clinically to correct defects in, or even enhance, human embryos in the future.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 5:02 am

Mitch Dobrowner's best photograph: a monster landspout in Kansas

‘In eight years chasing storms, I’ve never seen another like this … like King Kong in the flesh!’

It was early evening, maybe six o’clock, when we stopped the van. The storms usually fire up at this time, when the sun has had all day to warm the earth. Then the cumulonimbus towers burst up through the atmosphere and all hell breaks loose.

In chasing terms, it had been an easy day – we’d covered maybe 400 miles to get on to this line of storms in the far west of Kansas. We knew there was little chance of tornadoes, but our guide, my friend Roger Hill – a stormchasing veteran of at least 30 years – thought there was a good chance of some big hail and maybe even some landspout activity [where a tornado forms from the ground up].

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 4:57 am

Peter Hook reaches 'full and final' settlement over New Order royalties

Following years of rifts and a 2015 lawsuit, New Order have wrapped up their legal battle with former bassist Peter Hook

New Order have reached an undisclosed settlement with their former bassist Peter Hook, bringing an end to the long legal feud – if perhaps not the antipathy – between the two parties.

A statement by the band about the “full and final” settlement reads:

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 4:05 am

Hillary Clinton's What Happened sells 300,000 copies in first week

Clinton’s memoir and election postmortem has enjoyed the biggest debut for a nonfiction book in five years

Hillary Clinton’s memoir What Happened has enjoyed a hugely successful debut, with publisher Simon & Schuster reporting that the book has sold 300,000 copies since its release on 12 September.

Related: What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton review – no twinge of remorse

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 3:42 am

Save us from the monster fish: how should you dispose of your pet?

Goldfish disposed of down the toilet are now taking over waterways in Australia. There are better ways to get rid of pets – wait until they die, for starters

They had a good life, but what do you do with dear Gerry the gerbil or Robbie the rabbit when they slip away into the next hutch? How about not flushing them down the loo? Especially when they’re not even dead.

It’s a problem in Australia, where mutant goldfish are surviving sewage treatment to flourish in brackish waterways in the south-west of the country. Without natural predators, the fish have grown to dinner-plate proportions, causing algae blooms and a stirring up of sediment, not to mention eating the eggs of native species.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 3:42 am

Manchester United's 'class of 92' unveil plans to open university

Brainchild of Gary Neville and ex-teammates will offer courses designed to ‘enhance life skills as well as employability’

Members of Manchester United’s famous “class of 92” have unveiled plans to open a university that will teach students how to understand finance, cope under pressure and “maintain a healthy body and mind”.

University Academy 92, or UA92, the brainchild of Gary Neville and former teammates Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, will open in Trafford in September 2019.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 3:25 am

Do yoga, work harder: how productivity co-opted relaxation

Holidays, procrastination and drug-taking were once ways to escape work. Now leisure has been reappropriated to aid work. So is anything actually considered unproductive nowadays?

Are you reading this when you should be working? Please don’t feel bad. Later, you will get more done, because reading enhances your productivity and so does surfing the internet while at work. Just make sure that it does not account for more than 20% of your time, say researchers at University of Melbourne and the National University of Singapore. You can idly scroll, safe in the knowledge that you are offsetting your present indolence against a productive future.

Productivity is the great preoccupation of our age. The productivity industry is thriving. It has its own aisle in all the app supermarkets. You can type “enhances productivity” into Google and validate as a productivity hack almost any human activity, from laughing to crying. If there is something depressing about the idea that your emotional responses can be bent to the services of work, ask your desk neighbour for a hug. It might take you away from your screen for a minute, but that’s OK because a hug is a great brain hack to get your oxytocin flowing, which will make you more productive.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 3:16 am

How to eat well for £3.50 a day – by the scrimping experts

Students spend an average of £24.32 on food a week, according to a recent survey. Here’s how to improve your university menu without overspending

Students aren’t best known for their cooking. It’s an unwritten rule, in fact, that any article about freshers must also mention baked beans. But you can hardly blame today’s undergrads when, according to a recent National Union of Students (NUS) survey, nearly half are worried about being unable to afford basic groceries such as bread and milk.

Related: Students struggling with finances in 'desperate state', claims union

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 3:02 am

Going downtown, the New York subway reaches Delhi - in pictures

Art lovers in India will this month have the chance to see panoramic views of New York Subway stations and their passengers, on display as part of the Indian Photography Festival in Hyderabad. Natan Dvir’s series Platforms, is on show until October 8th

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 2:31 am

The thick of nyet: why Armando Iannucci has upset Russian hardliners

The Death of Stalin has been met with critical acclaim. But it’s no surprise that some in Russia are failing to see the funny side of the Soviet spoof

Name: Armando Iannucci.

Age: 53.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 2:04 am

VE Schwab on international success and being censored in Russia

The fantasy novelist recently struck a $1m book deal, but her storylines have also fallen foul of a Russian ban on ‘gay propaganda’

When bestselling fantasy author VE Schwab discovered her series Shades of Magic had been edited in Russia without her permission, to cut a romantic storyline with two gay characters, she had to make a decision: should she tolerate the redaction, to allow younger, possibly LGBT Russian readers to buy the books – or try to find another publisher?

“It was really heartbreaking, a moment when I had to sit with myself and ask myself what’s important to me. And at the end of the day, having the queer representation is just too important,” she says. “But it was not a simple solution and one of the reasons I wasn’t more vocal about it was because I was trying to resolve it with the publisher.”

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 1:47 am

Avril Lavigne is the internet’s most dangerous star – but that’s nothing new

From topping a malware poll to conspiracy theories about her death and superfans gaming YouTube for higher views, the Canadian singer has become an odd staple of internet culture

Not every article is written while wearing full hi-vis, Perspex goggles, hard hat and abseiling harness, with a police-quality Taser sleeping like a lazy boomslang next to the keyboard.

But this is one such story. That is because I have been tasked with reporting on Avril Lavigne, and “Avril Lavigne” has just been named the most dangerous celebrity search term on the internet.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 1:22 am

John Kearns: a supreme standup hidden behind bad teeth and a tonsure

The wig-wearing comic’s new show about humdrum heroism is his best yet. But as his act strives for knockout poignancy, does the goofy get-up help or hinder?

When John Kearns corpses, is he coming out of character? It happens on a few occasions during his current Soho theatre gig, and – even though I know the official line on Kearns’ act, which is “it’s not a character: it’s me” – these moments feel like a glimpse behind the curtain. For the uninitiated, Kearns is a double Edinburgh comedy award winner, the only act ever to win best newcomer and best show. He performs in party-shop false teeth and a tonsure wig and is frequently compared to Tony Hancock because his shtick is suburban loserdom and plangent existentialism, the minutiae of a humdrum life mined for flights of poetry and meek heroism.

Related: From Del Boy’s cap to Steve Martin’s arrow – what happened to the comedy trademark?

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 12:43 am

Nigel Farage ridiculed over video of him delivering letter to BBC

Social media users mocked Farage’s post that shows him striding up to the broadcaster’s London HQ

Nigel Farage has been roundly derided on social media for posting a video of himself marching up to the doors of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in London brandishing a letter of complaint.

Delivering my letter of complaint to the BBC Director-General yesterday.

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Posted on 21 September 2017 | 12:34 am

Top 10 books about consciousness

From octupuses that might be thinking with their arms to early humans’ blind obedience to gods, these are some of the best guides to the deep enigma inside ordinary life

What is consciousness? At first blush this question appears to be rather simple, but with further investigation, it quickly becomes much more complex. Consciousness is the most intimate of mental experiences, and yet the hardest to explain. It is the faculty that allows you to read this sentence, to remember yesterday’s events, to enjoy music and art, and to daydream about your plans for tomorrow. It provides your whole experience of the world and yet is mysteriously altered, or absent altogether, when you fall asleep at night.

For centuries, writers have argued about both the nature and purpose of consciousness, yet several rather basic questions remain unsettled. For example: at what stage does a foetus or newborn become conscious and able to understand the world that we, as adults, inhabit? Likewise, how does animal consciousness differ from ours and why do animals not respond as we do to music and art? What would it take to construct a machine that was conscious? And finally, could conditions like coma and the vegetative state harbour conscious minds within unresponsive bodies? These are some of the thorny questions I asked in my new book Into the Grey Zone, through the lens of a neuroscientist working at the border between life and death.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 11:55 pm

Kitchen gadgets review – Ravanello radish shaper: Alice through the cooking farce

This plastic shaping tool lets you alter a radish until it resembles a fly agaric mushroom

The Ravanello radish shaper (£8.50, Amazon) is a shallow bore-well with cutaway blade. Axially rotated radishes, shorn at their circumference, produce a stalk and dome effect reminiscent of fly agaric mushrooms.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 11:00 pm

Sarah Connor returns: Linda Hamilton to star in Terminator 6 after 25-year absence

Latest instalment of the franchise will see Hamilton reunited with Arnold Schwarzenegger and original creator James Cameron

Linda Hamilton is the latest name to return to the Terminator films, more than 25 years since her last appearance as the series’ robot-battling heroine Sarah Connor.

The actor’s return was announced by Terminator creator James Cameron at a private event celebrating the franchise, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Hamilton will reprise her role as Connor in the as-yet-untitled sixth instalment of the series, which will see her reunited with Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose own appearance in Terminator 6 was confirmed earlier this year. Cameron will produce and Deadpool’s Tim Miller will direct the film, which is being treated as a direct sequel to 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and is being eyed up as the first instalment of a new trilogy.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 9:48 pm

Olivia and Oliver were 2016's top baby names in England and Wales

Amelia is knocked off top place after five years, while Oliver remains most popular name for boys for fourth year

Olivia has replaced Amelia as the most popular name given to baby girls in England and Wales in 2016, official statistics show.

Oliver, the top name for baby boys, remained in the No 1 spot for the fourth year in a row, data released by the Office for National Statistics revealed.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 9:47 pm

Accessing cities with a disability: what have your experiences been?

Inaccessible venues and public spaces are a daily occurrence for most disabled people, whether at home or on holiday. We want to hear from Guardian readers with a disability about your experiences of accessing cities, good or bad

Last year Chester was named the most accessible city in Europe, selected from 43 cities in 21 countries for its achievements in creating a disability-friendly environment across many different sectors.

Related: Roman holiday: how Chester became the most accessible city in Europe

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 9:38 pm

Meet South Africa's 'boxing grannies' – in pictures

The gogos train with coach Claude Maphosa in twice-weekly sessions. Many claim that they no longer suffer from the ailments they had before and are stronger than ever. Such has been the popularity of the sessions, Maphosa is in the process of planning events in other areas for people who have been inspired by the story to join in

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 8:00 pm

Have you been affected by the earthquake in Mexico?

Central Mexico has been hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. If you’re in the region, you can share your experiences with us

At least 224 have been killed by a powerful earthquake in central Mexico. The quake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, is the deadliest to hit the nation since 1985. It struck shortly after 1pm local time, causing violent, prolonged shaking which flattened buildings and sent masonry tumbling onto streets, crushing cars and people in the capital Mexico City and surrounding areas.

The earthquake also appeared to have triggered an eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. In Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano, a church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla governor Jose Antonio Gali said.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

Exotic pet owners of Beijing – in pictures

A dramatic rise in owning exotic pets in China is fuelling global demand for threatened species. The growing trade in alligators, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and spiders is directly linked to species loss in some of the world’s most threatened ecosystems

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 6:05 pm

'A country teetering on the precipice': Castro's Cuba in pictures

As an American in 1990s Cuba, Tria Giovan risked being branded a traitor. But the photographer continued to visit and, from the dance hall to the hair salon, she captured the resilient spirit of the Cuban people

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

The struggle for food in a fragile world – in pictures

Conflict and climate change have brought with them dangerous levels of hunger and malnutrition in many countries. Photojournalist Chris de Bode visits Burundi, Central African Republic and Niger to hear people’s stories of how simple interventions are helping communities to cope

• The exhibition Food in a Fragile World runs until 30 October in London, part of Concern’s fundraising appeal

Photographs by Chris de Bode/Panos Pictures

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

Rescuers fight to save lives in Mexico City after earthquake – in pictures

Images of devastation following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck the country, killing hundreds

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 1:34 pm

Britain must honour its debt to Caribbean islands | Letters

Till Bruckner calls on UK to remember its slave history, Linda McAvon on the importance of EU aid, while Alasdair Macdonald wants HMS Ocean to become a disaster relief vessel

The small Caribbean island-nation of Dominica has been hit by the second natural disaster in two years (Report, 19 September). In 2015, tropical storm Erika wiped out an estimated 90% of the country’s GDP. Hurricane Maria caused similar devastation. No country can cope alone with the aftermath of two natural disasters of this scale. While Dominicans may be too polite to point this out, Britain owes the island a considerable debt. First, we profited greatly from centuries of slave labour. Stately homes were built from the profits gained by working Dominicans to death. Then, we benefited from globalisation, which boosted our exports, while wiping out virtually all of Dominica’s manufacturing sector. Today, we routinely fly abroad for cheap vacations, causing carbon pollution that makes natural disasters such as Erika and Maria more frequent and severe. Dominicans have had no say in any of these developments. The very least we can do is pay up and enable them to rebuild.
Till Bruckner

• The OECD rules you refer to (British territories hit by Irma ‘too wealthy’ to receive aid budget funds, 13 September) measure what can count towards a country’s 0.7% aid target, not whether or not a country can be given aid. As a recent Lords report points out, the EU provides aid to British overseas territories through the European Development Fund. That aid accounts for 36% of Anguilla’s capital budget, which is why we need clarity on what happens after Brexit. The government could choose to continue working through the EU, but must at the least make good any funding lost. Many of these tiny islands also rely on EU law to guarantee trade and free movement, including for medical treatment, to neighbouring islands which are overseas territories of other EU countries. These issues must be addressed if we are to do right by all British people.
Linda McAvan MEP
Chair, European parliament committee on development

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 5:44 am

Je regrette chien: why French bulldogs are being dumped

Battersea Dogs Home is being besieged by an influx of the popular celebrity pet, which is prone to serious health problems that are expensive to treat

Name: French bulldog.

Age: As individuals, unlikely to be more than 12 years old. As a species, about 150.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 5:26 am

Send us your questions for Philip Pullman

The Observer New Review offers you the chance to put your questions to the master storyteller

Next month sees the publication of Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage, the long-awaited first volume of The Book of Dust, an epic fantasy trilogy intended to stand alongside his bestselling series, His Dark Materials.

Pullman devotees have waited 17 years for him to return to the magical world of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, which have together sold more than 17.5m copies and been translated into 40 languages.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 2:29 am

How do you feel 20 years since Wales voted for devolution?

We’d like to hear from you if you live in Wales as the country marks 20 years since voting for devolved government

Wales voted for a devolved government 20 years ago this week after the publication of a white paper entitled A Voice for Wales, one of the first actions of Tony Blair’s Labour government. The 1997 referendum saw just over 1.1 million votes cast, a margin of just 6,721 deciding it.

In an interview with the Guardian to mark the anniversary, the first minister, Carwyn Jones, said he believed Wales was now more successful and confident than two decades ago.

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Posted on 20 September 2017 | 1:15 am

What is it like to work for a private ambulance service?

As private ambulances are increasingly being used to answer 999 calls, we want to hear from those who work for and have been treated by them

Shortages of paramedics and rising demand means that the NHS is spending almost £80m a year hiring private ambulances to answer 999 calls, figures show.

England’s 10 NHS ambulance trusts to spend £78.4m in 2016-17 on help from non-NHS providers to supplement their own services, down from £79.7m in 2015-16 up from £64.2m in 2014-15.

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 10:12 pm

iOS 11: the eight best new features for your iPhone and iPad

New version of Apple’s smartphone and tablet software includes customisation and multitasking additions, and will be available for download today

Apple’s iOS 11 will be available to download on iPhones and iPads everywhere from today, adding various new features including the ability to customise Control Centre for the first time.

Not all iPhones and iPads will be able to run iOS 11: anyone with an iPhone 5 or 5C, or iPad 4 or older is out of luck. But the majority of devices bought in the last few years will be able to download the update for free via the Settings app or through iTunes on a computer.

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 9:17 pm

What's your experience of being in debt?

The average UK household now owes £14,000. We’d like you to share your experiences of borrowing

Britain’s borrowing is worsening as new data shows there are now more than 8.3 million people in the UK with problem debts.

The debt charity StepChange said the percentage of its clients falling behind on payments went over 40% in the first half of 2017, while the average debt of the people it helps has also risen, from £14,251 in 2016 to £14,367 in the first half of the year.

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 8:31 pm

Are you affected by Hurricane Maria?

A category five hurricane is battering the Caribbean. If you’re in the region, you can share your experiences with us

The Caribbean island of Dominica has been hit by category 5 Hurricane Maria, with fears it could produce a dangerous storm surge and large waves.

The eyewall of the hurricane barrelled into Dominica’s eastern coast on Monday evening, crossing towards the former British colony’s capital, Roseau, on the south-west side.

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 8:05 pm

Portugal's biggest wildfire: 'We all thought we were going to die' – video

On 17 June, a fire swept through the forests of central Portugal, killing 64 people and destroying more than 480 houses. After a summer of record numbers of wildfires across southern Europe, the Guardian travelled to devastated villages in Portugal to find out why the June fire was so deadly, and what can be done to prevent it happening again

*Satellite imagery courtesy of Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

Balls of fun! Germany's gumball obsession – in pictures

In his series Disenchantment, the photographer and scientist Eckart Bartnik chronicles aliens, googly eyes and dancing fish that drop from the country’s 800,000 vending machines

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 6:00 pm

Nimbin Roots festival – in pictures

Pictures from the annual music festival in celebration of Americana, old blues, alt-country and traditional music. The festival also featured an ‘abundance village’, hosting workshops on philosophy, yoga and permaculture

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 6:00 am

The nation is tiring of Boris’s vainglorious act | Letters

Readers respond to the foreign secretary’s latest poorly though-out Brexit intervention

Boris Johnson certainly is yesterday’s novelty (Opinion, 18 September). When the practice of politics is now so similar to advertising, where style and appearance often matter more than substance, if the Johnson brand is not refreshed it will fall out of favour. It is inevitable that he will be replaced by a newer and more exciting brand, which is that of Jacob Rees-Mogg. Not only will going back to the old message fail to refresh the Johnson brand, it will reveal its vacuousness. Advertisers are selling a product; there is some substance to the advert, however when all that is being sold is the “appearance” of something, the advertiser will inevitably be exposed. Now, with the difficult negotiations over Brexit what a politician needs is knowledge and understanding of the EU. Any politician who lacks that will be found out, as has Boris Johnson. Phrases such as “go whistle” for the money might make a good tabloid headline, but they reveal a vacuousness in the thinking of the speaker.
Derrick Joad

• Matthew d’Ancona’s suggestion that Boris Johnson’s latest foray into the Brexit debate falls some way short of the statesmanship displayed by his 19th-century predecessors, Lords Palmerston and Castlereagh, forgets to mention that in his time Castlereagh was one of the most despised politicians of his age, prompting Lord Byron to suggest this epitaph: “Posterity will ne’er survey / A nobler grave than this: / Here lie the bones of Castlereagh: / Stop traveller and piss”.
Graham Murdock
Professor of culture and economy, Loughborough University

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 5:51 am

Freshers' regrets – do you have a few?

Tell us what you got wrong in your first week of university

University is simple. Turn up, work hard, keep a handle on your finances, and in three short years you’ll be posing for photos with a scroll under one arm and a proud parent under the other.

But things rarely go so smoothly. There’s something about the combination of brand-new surroundings and no-brand vodka that seems to produce a slew of questionable decisions.

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 3:58 am

Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?

Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of them

Welcome to this week’s blog, and our roundup of your comments and photos from last week.

Where are the songs of spring? Think not of them... It’s autumn on Tips, Links And Suggestions and readers like Brooke Sherbrooke have been tailoring their choices accordingly:

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 2:00 am

Man With a Seagull on His Head by Harriet Paige review – a bona fide gem

An uncanny story about an outsider artist and the woman that he paints compulsively, delivers unsettling reflections on art and life

One of the consolations of art is that it helps us make human connections. We can see something of ourselves (and something of the artist) in a painting, novel or piece of music. We can link into a wider network of like-minded souls, holding hands across the ages, sharing truths and emotions. And that’s a lovely thought. While I may feel alienated from many of my fellow citizens here in Brexitannia, I can at least comprehend something of Virgil’s sorrow for Dido, Van Gogh’s joy at the stars or Bruce Springsteen’s desire to bust the heck out of town …

The idea is appealing but Harriet Paige’s debut novel makes a convincing case that this is too simple and that there can be a disparity between an artist’s vision and the way we receive it.

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 1:47 am

'I'll be here until I die': Florida Keys residents on life after Hurricane Irma

A week on from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, Florida Keys residents are finding strength in one another as they try to piece together their homes and make sense of what happened

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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 1:12 am

Have you been unable to shop due to poor accessibility?

We want to hear from less-abled people who have experienced difficulties with poor access when shopping in high-street or luxury fashion stores

Britain’s 11.9 million disabled people represent a potentially large untapped consumer market with a perceived spending power of £80bn, yet many clothes shops are completely inaccessible.

With London Fashion Week, the subject of diversity will continue to dominate the catwalks as Edward Enninful, the incoming editor of British Vogue, cements his vision for an inclusive approach to this elite industry.

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Posted on 18 September 2017 | 10:41 pm

'We are the outcasts': my day with the Juggalos - video

Fans of the Insane Clown Posse - otherwise known as Juggalos - were classified as a gang by the FBI in 2011. They have been fighting the label ever since, claiming they are just music fans and have no ties to criminal activity. The Guardian spent the day with the Juggalos as they protested in Washington DC.

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Posted on 18 September 2017 | 8:31 pm

No place like home – in pictures

No Place Like Home is a photography and audio project by London-based photographer Jonathan Donovan.

Each story explores what it is like to live in London, and asks what constitutes a home in this febrile environment.

Exhibition from 16 - 22 September at Platform Southwark, London SE1 8BS

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Posted on 18 September 2017 | 5:00 pm

From Emmys red carpet to winners, the 2017 awards night – in pictures

All the best pics from the red carpet and the awards ceremony at the annual bash to celebrate the best in US primetime TV

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Posted on 18 September 2017 | 2:34 pm

Rohingya Muslims flee ethnic violence in Myanmar - in pictures

More than 400,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since late August during violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Recent satellite images released by Amnesty International provided evidence that security forces were trying to push the minority Muslim group out of the country. According to reports, the Rohingya crisis has left at least 1,000 people dead, including children and infants. Dozens of Rohingya Muslims drowned when their ill-equipped, overloaded boat capsized in rough waters

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Posted on 18 September 2017 | 10:26 am

The week in Brexit: who said what?

Take our quiz of Brexit-related quotes, after a week that saw the EU Withdrawal Bill pass its first parliamentary test

"Brexit is a distraction, not a solution, to the problems this country is facing."

Tony Blair

David Cameron

Gordon Brown

George Osborne

“We want a relationship which allows us to trade within the single market. Whether that’s formal membership – which is only possible, I believe, if you are actually a member of the EU – or whether it’s an agreed trading relationship, is open for discussion."

Jeremy Corbyn

Theresa May

Vince Cable

Nicola Sturgeon

“There is general agreement that it would not make sense to ask business to face two sets of changes and that implies that a transition or interim period would need to look a lot like the status quo."

Jeremy Corbyn

Keir Starmer

Philip Hammond

Michael Gove

"We are going to make progress. We will keep moving. We will move on because Brexit isn’t everything. It isn’t the future of Europe. It isn’t the be all and end all."

Jean-Claude Juncker

Herman Van Rompuy

Michel Barnier

Angela Merkel

"Mr Barnier seems to be acting as the representative of a country that has just won a war and is determined to exact the maximum amount of reparations from a vanquished, defeated country."

Iain Duncan Smith

William Hague

Michael Howard

Boris Johnson

"There needs to be a serious parliamentary debate to figure out what kind of Brexit we are going to have in the best interests of the country and the economy." Which company's chairman said this?

Marks and Spencer

John Lewis


Top Shop

"I suspect that we will have to leave without a deal and we will trade under WTO regulations, which frankly, are going to hurt the Europeans more than the British." Which company's founder offered this more optimistic view?




Pimlico Plumbers

“The people voted and, you know, they have to get on with it. Suddenly, it’s like, ‘Oh, well, we don’t like that vote'. What do you mean you don’t like that vote? You had the vote, this is what won, let’s get on with it.” Which drummer said this?

Phil Collins

Dave Grohl

Charlie Watts

Ringo Starr

"I don’t think Brexit would have happened if it hadn’t been for the political and economic events of the preceding 10 years. People were disillusioned. They felt badly treated. They felt squeezed."

Gordon Brown

Theresa May

Alistair Darling

George Osborne

"I would quite happily never have a constitutional referendum in my lifetime on anything ever again."

Tony Blair

Gordon Brown

Nicola Sturgeon

Ruth Davidson

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Posted on 16 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

Cassini's final mission: death plunge into Saturn's rings – video

During its 20-year mission to Saturn, Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft revolutionised our understanding of the ringed planet and its moons, and captured some breathtaking images. Now it has undertaken its final mission, to steer to its destruction through the planet's rings, capturing data until the very last moment

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Posted on 15 September 2017 | 4:41 am

The Battle for Myanmar’s Buddhist spirit – video

In Myanmar, different groups of Buddhist monks are battling with how to deal with the country’s minority Muslim population. While some advocate peace, others, such as the extremist Ma Ba Tha, are stoking up hatred and violence. The Guardian visited Myanmar to investigate how the monks’ actions are threatening to destabilise the country’s newly established democracy

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Posted on 8 September 2017 | 11:20 pm

The first 1,000 days: their impact on a child's future, narrated by Jay Rayner – video

Good nutrition, healthcare and sanitation are crucial to a child’s early development. Without these, a child’s brain won’t develop properly. They will have a lower IQ and they will grow up shorter than they should, a condition known as stunting. The Observer’s food critic, Jay Rayner, explains how a child’s future is determined by the first years of life

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Posted on 6 September 2017 | 7:00 pm

'I want to bring up a warrior': Ukraine's far-right children's camp – video

In Ukraine, the far-right Azov militia is fighting on the frontline – and running a summer camp for children. The Guardian visited the camp and followed 16-year-old Anton through his experiences. Is Azov really a modern Hitler Youth organisation, or is it trying to prepare young Ukrainians for the tough reality that awaits them?

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Posted on 5 September 2017 | 6:21 am